According to virtual open house community wants Small Town character retained

At Monday night’s ‘Planning’ meeting (June 19/23) a proposed apartment development application will be coming forward, as will the proposed Design Guidelines for Development that Council adopt Design Guideline 1 – Existing Neighbourhoods.

Following an April (2023) virtual Open House, the number one input from the community was the recommendation that the  “Character of Saugeen Shores and small town charm” be retained.

The proposed apartment application is to develop a three-story, 12-unit apartment building on Johnston Street in Port Elgin.  The property is currently a garden area for a heritage home on the corner of Johnston and Waterloo Streets.  It consists of mature trees, a walkway bridge and many plantings. The lot area is between two homes, one on either side of the lot, one the heritage home and the other a period home.


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Adjacent to the proposed lot development is a second property that the current owner purchased as a family continuation.  In a letter to the Planning Department, he stated that “… the impact to my property will be significant … we loved the mature neighbourhood and the fact we lived beside a designated heritage home … there seems to be some very bad decisions being made to cram new apartments in between heritage homes and ruin the cultural landscape of the legacy of downtown Port Elgin.”

He went on to add that the “… large mature trees and neighbourhood will be impacted greatly. The existing trees are already under stress and the excavation and building of this proposed building will be the end of the trees. What happened to the heritage designation of the property that this apartment will crowd over? The map provided shows a six foot lot line to the building. This also concerns me greatly as the overhang from the roof and potential building attachments (decks patios) will reduce my privacy and affect the amount of natural light on that side of my house. This deeply concerns me.”

According to an architectural site, developers and architects have been searching for creative solutions to zoning regulation and, what started as a creative solution, is now the standard blueprint for all modern apartment construction.

The Municipality Planning Committee will vote on the proposed building going ahead before it is then passed on to the County Planning Department for final approval.