Port Elgin is about to get a new hotel. The new three-storey, 68 unit hotel will be located on Hwy. 21 at Lake Ridge Drive at the south end of Port Elgin and is part of the Microtel chain.
As part of the planning process, the applicants came before the Committee of Adjustment to request several minor variances.
The land is zoned ‘Highway Commercial Special’ which allows for hotels. Although the normal frontage setback is a minimum of 10 to 20 metres, the owners requested relief from the zoning By-law to allow the hotel a setback of 37.16 metres which, in turn, would allow for parking.
Councilor Neil Menage suggested that a change in the setback By-law be made permanent when it comes to hotels/motels so that a request for relief doesn’t have to come before Committee every time for approval. “I imagine the setback for hotels is to provide a more quiet environment away from traffic noise for hotel guests.”
The plan is also to include enhanced landscaping although a request was made to reduce the footprint from 30 per cent to 18 per cent. Details will be determined through the Site Plan Control process and, in addition, there is a plan to landscape the corner immediately south of the Super 8 Motel.
Vice-Deputy Mayor also asked how a follow-up will be done when further lots behind the hotel are severed. “In enabling a reduced landscaping covered, how will future development be ‘tracked’? Why is there not going to be landscaping behind the hotel on the west side to act as a buffer for development that will take place? Also, there is always a statement about species t risk. Does the county follow up on that?”
The Bruce County planner, Tessa Fortier, explained that only the hotel land was to be landscaped until the remaining lands are severed and that no follow-up on species at risk is done by the County. “Recommendations are made by the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority (SVCA) and any concerns should go to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).”
The hotel will have two entrances, one off Lake Ridge Rd. and the other off Goderich Street (Hwy. 21)
Councilor Neil Menage also said that he could not support the plan unless it was a complete Site Plan that included what was going to happen on the west side of the building.
Jay Pausner, Saugeen Shores Development Coordinator, explained however, that future plans would fit in with the present hotel application. “In discussions with the owners, we have looked at form and function … the future development on the lands, whether residential or commercial, I am sure will be a high quality submission. The developer is also revising the landscaping provision along the highway frontage as we don’t want trees with roots that may impact our infrastructure. “
Councilor Mike Myatt said that he had also been concerned with the reduction in landscaping from 30 per cent to 18 per cent but when he saw the plan to landscape the entire corner opposite the property, it made good sense. “I want to congratulate the owners and the consultant on the architecture of this design. I like what’s happening at the south end of town. I really liked the 60 sq. metre landscape plan for across the road. This is a really good news story.”
All the requests for variances were approved and the plan now moves on to the Site Plan Control process.