Condominium Exemption turned down by County of Bruce

Bruce County’s Planning and Development Committee has refused the Skylark Holdings a ‘Condominium Exemption’ to convert 47 apartment units into condominium units at 560 Ivings Drive in Port Elgin.

Twelve of the units are subsidized by the County as affordable rental units under an agreement with the applicant that is apparently set to expire in 2027.

On September 24, 2007, Saugeen Shores authorized an agreement with the Ontario numbered company that purchased the land, on the provision that 12 affordable housing units would be provided.  The tax exemption for municipal and schools was to be effective for a period of 20 years from the date that the first affordable housing unit was occupied by a tenant.  The By-law however, was officially signed on November 22, 2010.

The complex on Ivings Drive consists of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartment units which, admittedly, are close to amenities, including walking distance to Walmart, many other stores and fast-food restaurants and the LCBO.

Monthly rents for 2020 are, unfortunately, far from ‘affordable’ in that they run from $1,000/month to $1,500/month plus utilities and proof of tenant insurance required.

In Ontario, a single person on welfare receives $656 monthly; a single person with one child, $941; and a couple with two children, $1,173. A single person on ODSP receives $1,098 monthly; a single person with one child, $1,515; and a couple with two children, $1,791.

Currently, the minimum lease at 560 Ivings Drive is six months and then month-to-month after that with a 60-day notice required to end the lease.

A ‘Condominium Exemption’ allows a condominium to be created without having to meet certain requirements of the Planning Act, including the requirement for a statutory public notice and meeting process.

A ‘Plan of Condominium’ is, according to people in the ‘affordable’ housing units seen as a “money grab” where condominiums will be sold for the going rate.  The going rate in Saugeen Shores?  Up to $685,000.

Skylark Holdings was advised by the County to advance a Plan of Condominium application.