Town of Meaford Planning Update: Is This A Town to Watch?
In December, we attended the annual panel of Planners session which is an opportunity for us to interact with municipal staff and planners about local planning initiatives and developments. Today we present the information provided by Liz Buckton, Senior Planner for the town of Meaford.
I’ve always loved Meaford for a host of reasons such as the outstanding public access to the waterfront, the trail system, the harbour, the quaintness of the town and the beauty found in the surrounding rural landscape. This is a Town that for years has just been waiting to happen but never seems to get off the ground. I think that may eventually change.
Meaford is always busy in the planning department. A few years ago, they developed a Community Improvement Program (CIP) and 2014 was the second year for the grants for upgrading facades program. I think it is the most generous one in the area and provides an incentive for owners to upgrade their downtown commercial buildings. They are looking to update the CIP in 2015 with provisions for brownfields of which there are a few.
They are currently working on putting together a Culture and Recreation Master Plan with public input being sought this spring.
They put together a Heritage Conservation District Study and Plan which has had just one objection filed so, most or all of the plan should be in effect shortly. It’s good to see because Meaford has some wonderful old heritage buildings and an interesting history.
Most exciting, they have developed a Waterfront Strategy which includes a $4.6m Harbour Village concept to bring even more life to that part of town.
Meaford recently updated its zoning by-law and some of the changes are very current to today. They have developed regulations surrounding medical marijuana facilities, they have addressed topics such as Agri-tourism and wineries, accessory and granny suites and, they now allow backyard chickens under certain circumstances. Meaford is also one of the only areas here that recognizes the need for small hobby farms and has developed policies to permit that in certain areas as well.
Some of the more significant developments planned or underway include:
– Meaford Haven: 400 residential units, retirement home, commercial component; draft plan approved and ready to enter into a master development agreement next
– Meaford Highlands Resort 1100-1200 units on the 3rd Line
-Downtown Redevelopment project at corner of Nelson and Sykes – 97 residential units, underground
parking, main floor commercial
– Gates of Kent (Centre/Union St): 4 Blocks of Units Registered
– Golfview (Nelson & Pearson St) – Now Registered
– Pinehurst (Sykes N) – Pre-serviced and Agreement executed.
– Coleman Street (Gordon Cres.) – Registered and Building
– Pre-consultation at former Legion property
With the larger scale developments on the books and with the number of new investments being made by private developers as well as with the proactive planning we are seeing in this town, I think it may finally be the time for Meaford to take off in a big way barring any economic downturns or political woes. The real estate market in Meaford has always been very tied to the military base but these new developments will moderate that effect in the long run. Lastly, I can’t say enough what a pleasure it is as a REALTOR® to deal with Liz and the planning department in Meaford who always bend over backwards to assist us.
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