North of Dr. Kay Dr. on the east side of Main Street is a row of heritage homes extending past the intersection at Western Ave. These homes include the historic train station.
In the new draft Official Plan the first eight properties have been identified as Special Development Area 2 (SDA -2) .A Special Development Area designation identifies an area for future redevelopment. It requires a comprehensive plan for roads, services and structures. SDA – 2 also allows for mixed use with a generous allowance for commercial use.
Now the concept of a Special Development Area may seem reasonable, but the devil is in the details. You may recall that a new zoning bylaw was passed recently for the Village of Schomberg. The new bylaw allows for much denser development in the area identified as SDA – 2 and for 100% paving of the front yard.
If I was a developer I would systematically buy up all these houses, tear them down and redevelop the whole area. The proposed designation and the approved zoning encourage this.
I would submit that redevelopment that results in the demolition of the heritage homes and allows for intense commercial/residential uses would fundamentally change the character of Main Street and is entirely inappropriate. Appropriate intensification in this area may be the development of granny flats or garden flats.
There are 2 areas in Schomberg that I believe would benefit from a Special Development Area designation. They would be the Old Arena and the Rona lands.
It has been several months since the draft Official Plan was circulated for public comment. The Township has been silent on the next stage of the process. I will write more when I hear anything new.