Port Elgin LCBO applies for a new location

If all plans go ahead, and it appears that they will, the existing Port Elgin LCBO outlet will be closed as a new store is being planned to be located in the Wal-Mart parking area west of the store [where the charitable Diabetes collection boxes are].

The proposed application for a new re-located store was presented to the Saugeen Shores Committee of Adjustment on Tuesday, August 2nd.

The new building is expected to be considerably larger than the existing one located in the ‘Giant Tiger’ shopping plaza area.

The zoning of the property also includes site specific provisions that further regulate development on the property. The site specific permissions include:

• the maximum gross floor area shall be 16,506 m2;
• all retail stores, personal service shops and food stores shall have a minimum gross leasable floor area of 186 m2;
• the calculation of gross floor area and gross leasable floor area shall not include an outdoor seasonal area and outdoor seating areas accessory to any permitted use;
• a maximum of five main buildings shall be permitted;
• the minimum landscaped open space shall be 15% of the lot area; landscaping shall be provided along any lot line abutting a Residential Zone and shall consist of a solid fence having a minimum height of 1.8 m together with a dense screen of shrubs and/or evergreen trees having minimum width and height in accordance with Section 3.15.2 (a) and (b) of this By-law and planted in such a manner as to provide a year round visual barrier.

The existing Walmart includes a total of 572 parking spaces, which exceeds the 539 requirements. The proposed variance therefore requests relief from the site specific parking provisions to provide 465 parking spaces rather than the 539 required. This variance will remove 107 Walmart parking spaces and facilitate the development of an LCBO.

According to a parking analysis submitted with the application, at peak periods, 151 of 572 parking spaces were occupied, a utilization rate of 30%. This suggests that there are more parking spaces provided than required.

The proposed variance is only for the Walmart parking requirements. The LCBO building will take up the 107 parking spaces and, in addition, will provide 46 spaces, which meets its parking requirements and still leaves enough for Wal-Mart.

According to planner Coreena Smith, the proposed new structure meets both the Town and  County’s Official Plan.

Deputy Mayor Don Matheson questioned the access at the rear of the proposed LCBO.  “Will there be a back entrance for unloading product and will this store be in addition to the existing one or a replacement?”

Julia Skuoros of Smart Centre confirmed that the proposed store will be a replacement and will be considerably larger than the existing one.

Committee member Marcel Legault also questioned the requirements for landscaping. “As a business owner, we were required to provide 30% open space landscaping.”

Vice-deputy Mayor Mike Myatt also concurred saying he was a big “proponent of enhancing landscaping.  That corner has always been a mess and a dead corner.  I think this is going to be a really good change for that corner of the parking lot and I want to commend the developer for the change.”

Jay Pausner, Saugeen Shores Supervisor Economic Development, said that the town requirement is 30% open space and will be part of  thesite plan presented to Council.

Deputy Mayor Matheson said that, if Wal-Mart had already met property standards for landscaping then why should there be a need for more enhanced landscaping.  “There isn’t a lot of space on that corner for extra landscaping.”

Committee member Olivia Barwell also pointed out that in the winter there is considerable snow.  “Snow is piled up there so will there still be space for that?”

Adam Beausoleil of Smart Centre said that “… we hadn’t specifically looked at that” but he anticipated “… there will be adequate space to accommodate the sno”w.

During the ‘Open to the Public’ portion of the meeting, Murray Wilson, immediate neighbour to the north since 1971 with a holding yard for equipment, expressed his concern that traffic will increase as will garbage.  “Smart Centres did not consider the prevailing winds and snow that we have and the poorly constructed fence is continually falling down.  Also, along that proposed development is the Rail Trail entrance with approximately 150 users per day. As it is, we have a weekly battle with garbage. There are also no sidewalks on Barnes Ave. where there is also the Food Bank and where there will be increased traffic.

For larger view, Click on Image

His son, Curtis Wilson also pointed that they pick up an average of 80 bags of garbage and there has been an increase in drug needles along the fence line and the Bricker St. entrance to their property.

Neighbour, Lisa Lavinge and her husband also said their concerns were the same as the Wilsons.  “In addition, we have the storm water pond adjacent to our back yard and the fence has come down and the amount of garbage is atrocious.  Fencing is a huge issue and we addressed the issued of fencing in the beginning with Smart Centre because of our winters.  We’ve had many issues with the fencing coming down and they (Smart Centres) don’t do anything about it.  We had small children and there is water there.  Nobody cares about maintaining it.”

Her husband added that “The fences were not built properly in the first place.  We have to uphold a standard here and that standard has gone down even since before the pandemic.  The chain link fence at the pond has been down for years and garbage has been thrown in for years.  The trees are dying and the trucks are not coming in off the highway they are coming in off Barnes Ave. a residential area, to WalMart and also go out that way.”

Pausner said that the proponent is willing to repair fencing and that the storm water management pond is private and belongs to Wal-Mart (SmartREIT).

Both members Legault and Myatt agreed that the landscaping should be a requirement. “The charity boxes are the result of the garbage so will they be relocated or removed?” asked Legault.  He also asked if conditions that would have to be met could be added.

Skuorus confirmed that the boxes will be removed.

Barwell asked a similar question asking if a condition could ensure that trucks must enter off Hwy. 21 and not Barnes Ave.

The planner, Smith, said that issues would be best addressed through the site-plan agreement by Council.