Planning and Development

Planning, growth and related issues

Recent Posts

A radical proposal for municipal planning

By Robert Washburn

Here is a radical idea: Make developers pay the complete cost of getting municipal approval for their projects. It will never happen. But, it should be considered. Right now, public tax dollars are spent maintaining planning departments. Certainly, there are aspects of planning that are in the general public interest – official plans, secondary plans, bylaws, policies, etc. Continue Reading →

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Survey reveals fascinating trends for Cobourg downtown

By Robert Washburn

Very soon, Cobourg residents will find out if council’s $95,000 investment in a downtown revitalization project will bear some fruit. Currently, figures from two recent surveys are being crunched and the results poured over as the various experts, politicians and business leaders think about the future of the town’s core. While the final report is not complete and it will be up to the experts to provide detailed analysis, along with the final conclusions, some early results reveal interesting trends. A vast majority of Cobourg residents, about 84 per cent, visit the downtown at least once a week. Their favourite places to visit are the waterfront or a particular restaurant or shop. Continue Reading →

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Testing of east pier underway

By Robert Washburn

Cobourg’s east pier was closed Wednesday as a two-man crew undertook an electro-magnetic survey to determine how safe it is for the upcoming Waterfront Festival. Jamie Broadburn and Ryan Grinton, of TSH/TBE Subsurface Engineering in Whitby, were out early in the morning setting up their equipment to take a test to determine whether or not there are holes inside the structure known as voids in the east pier. The equipment, which looks like a very high-tech lawnmower, runs across the surface sending out a magnetic wave, similar to radar, which provides an image that can be interpreted, Bradburn said. This will help them determine how many voids there are and where they are located. “You see this kind of thing on CSI (a popular forensic sciences television show),” Bradburn said. Continue Reading →

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Committee recommends apartment for condo conversion

By Robert Washburn

The conversion of a nine-unit apartment building on Spencer Street East will not reduce the amount of affordable housing in Cobourg, the town planner said Thursday. An application from Rodger Cooper to convert the existing rental apartment at 45 Spencer Street East, on the southeast corner of John and Spencer streets, came before the planning advisory committee Wednesday. It recommends council should approve the conversion. The units will sell for approximately $115,000 to $127,000. Current tenants will not be affected by the conversion. Continue Reading →

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Proposal seeks to reduce committee members, eliminate pay

By Robert Washburn

Proposed changes to the town’s planning committee will mean fewer members will serve longer terms and citizens will not be paid to attend, according to a report. Deputy Mayor Stan Frost said recently he wants to review all town committees are part of a major review of the town’s system of advisory bodies. In the proposal, the number of committee members drops by two, to seven from nine. There will be one less representative from town council and one less person from the public. Qualified people apply and are appointed by council. Continue Reading →

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Council approves interim solution for free parking, revisit issue in August

By Robert Washburn

In an effort to meet deadlines and dampen council critics, Councillor Miriam Mutton introduced a series of compromises Monday night to deal with free parking passes. Following a series of recommendations from the town’s parking committee to ban all free parking passes, including town staff, Mutton came back with an interim set of motions allowing fewer free passes and some strict controls on the others to be distributed. Council approved a reduced number of parking passes to the Cobourg Lawn Bowling Club, giving them 65 to cover spaces in the immediate area for this season only. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Transportation study should be done in-house, says councillor

By Robert Washburn

A Cobourg councillor feels town staff and a bit of common sense might have saved taxpayers about $71,000 to produce a roads study last week. Councillor Donna Todd said the skills already exists within the town staff and people know what intersections and roads need work so there was no need to hire HDR/iTrans, of Richmond Hill to carry out a nine-month study to produce the Transportation Master Plan. “I feel we do have the talent on staff already and when we go and purchase these consultant’s studies that we know the information,” she said after the council meeting on May 24.  “We know where the routes need to be and I find it a little disturbing that we spend money on all this information that is already we know first hand.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Free parking passes under fire as committee request cancellation

By Robert Washburn

Cobourg council put the brakes on a recommendation to cancel all free parking passes, including those for town staff and police, Tuesday night until some details can be worked out. A series of motion related to free parking passes were delayed in order to measure the impact on a number of groups and residents, as well as, to determine the financial impact on the town budget. Councillor Miriam Mutton said she agrees with the delay, but emphasized the need to act now in order to make the system fairer. “This has been way overdue,” she said. “The parking committee was ready to move on this.”
The parking advisory committee recommendations came after the town was granting nearly 1,000 free parking passes in the past to residents along Church and Charles streets, for beach volleyball organizers, lawn bowling, lifeguards, seniors in the Market building, police volunteers, commissionaires, dragon boat members and the art gallery, along with a host of others. Continue Reading →

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