The proposed major development that Mr. Toncic has proposed for the Meaford downtown is an excellent step in improving the potential of our economy and status as an Ontario town that cares about its heritage.
In order for this to proceed the Municipality must apply its own approved bylaw for the Heritage Conservation District and issue a permit that requires that the façade of the existing building remain.
There are many examples around the world of similar redevelopments that respect the streetscapes and allow the modern development to proceed.
I suggest that the council consider the requested higher height and site coverage in exchange for the existing façade to remain.
One approach is for the new building to be set back, say six to eight feet, behind the brick façade, creating an arcade for the retail level and allowing the developer to construct the new building as he wishes , behind the façade.
I imagine that the developer has done his market analysis and is confident about selling or renting the finished buildings, however I would also suggest that council consider a security deposit to ensure that the project proceeds and that we don’t end up with an empty site behind the façade. This deposit needs to be sizable, say $2,000,000, and could be in the form of a bank security.
I applaud Mr. Toncic for his vision and support his overall concept of this development.
David Nathan, Meaford