Monday, September 1, 2014

More interest shown in subdivision

The town’s proposal to develop the former Huffman School property on Williams Avenue into a residential subdivision is gaining attention, with more people showing interest in possibly buying lots there.
Council last night received the zoning bylaw amendment application to re-zone the property from “institutional” to “residential type 2”, and also got an update from municipal planner Faye Flatt.

Flatt noted that since a story in last week’s Times, the number of people who have show potential interest in the proposed lots has grown from 12 to 15.
Flatt urges everyone who is interested to contact her via e-mail at fflatt@fort-frances.com or at the town hall, adding those who put their names on her contact list are not obligated to buy lots—nor is the town obligated to sell them lots—when they are put up for sale next year.
Later in the meeting, Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft said assessing the need for housing lots and residential development was one of the goals in this council’s strategic plan, and the interest shown in the proposed residential subdivision seems to confirm what it had anticipated.
“We look at this new development we are putting in at Huffman School and there’s already, just on a local basis, 15 people,” he remarked.
“This goes to show that when we started down this road, there were some nay-sayers that said we didn’t really need residential property development,” added Coun. Wiedenhoeft.
“It appears as though we probably need more than we’re making accessible right now.
“I know the Town of Fort Frances is not in the property development business but this is a good news story—that 15 people are already interested in developing and building new home in this town,” he noted.
“That excites me. I am really happy the Town of Fort Frances is going down this . . . road with the Huffman School development.”
Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig noted some of the interested parties are people looking to relocate to Fort Frances, and not all are local residents looking to “upgrade” from their current housing situation.
The site plan has been posted at town buildings, including the Civic Centre, Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre, and the Memorial Sports Centre, as well as on the town’s website (www.fort-frances.com).
The proposed re-zoning will be the subject of a public meeting slated for Monday, Nov. 26 in conjunction with that night’s regular council meeting.
The purpose of the re-zoning—from institutional to residential—is to accommodate the creation of a 16-lot residential subdivision, with six fronting Williams Avenue and an additional 10 on a proposed cul-de-sac.
The bylaw relevant to the proposed zoning amendment then will be considered at the next regular council meeting (Dec. 10).

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