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POST's letter to the Municipal Heritage Committee February 7, 2022

TO:      Chair and Members of the Municipal Heritage Committee, Town of Niagara on the Lake

            Colleen Hutt, Acting Clerk

            Tara Druzina, Town Staff


FROM:  Preserve Our Special Town - POST.


DATE:   February 7, 2022


RE:      Municipal Heritage Committee Meeting February 8, 2022 @ 6:30 pm           



We are writing on behalf of POST - Preserve Our Special Town, a group of concerned residents regarding the Parliament Oak School Proposed Development by Liberty Sites.   We understand that the Municipal Heritage Committee (MHC) is an advisory committee to Council on heritage matters including matters of cultural heritage conservation and Official Plan policies pertaining to cultural heritage.  While we are not automatically entitled to be a delegation to your Committee, we understand that we may submit written comments and questions.  


We are writing with respect to the design charrette for 325 King Street that was discussed at your last meeting on January 18, 2022.  The minutes of that meeting stated the following with respect to the design charrette:


            - the Committee requests that the May, 2019 request for a design charrette be undertaken and that Committee members David Parker, Philip Hoad, Amanda Demers, Drew Chapman and Gordon Stafford (Vice Chair of the Urban Design Committee) and members of the LHC Heritage Planning and Archaeology team become part of a design charrette with the applicant/agent, with the Committee committing to supplying the applicant/agent with input for consideration before the end of January, 2022.


We are writing to ask whether the Committee has supplied the applicant/agent with input and, if so, what that input was?  Also, have terms of reference been established for the design charrette? and has it taken place?


We are concerned that any design charrette that takes place not be limited to a discussion of height, window design or other such architectural details of the proposed apartment building; but rather that it considers whether an apartment building is appropriate for the site at all, given the character of the surrounding established residential neighbourhood of 1, 1 1/2 and 2 storey single family dwellings with an average density of 3.47 units per acre.  A discussion that is limited to architectural details and height of an apartment building assumes that an apartment building is okay. Such a limitation would be, in effect conceding the applications for an Official Plan amendment to medium density residential and for a Zoning Bylaw amendment to  RM1 Residential Multiple.


We do not believe that medium density residential is okay for this site.  The requirements of the Official Plan do not support this building form or density.


We also point out that in the new Official Plan, this property is in the middle of an area identified by the Town as a cultural heritage landscape:  the Downtown Heritage Character Area.  To allow the proposal to move forward as an apartment building would irreparably harm this cultural heritage landscape.



Submitted by the Team at Post:  Marilyn Bartlett, Alan Gordon, Connie Tintinalli

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