Bylaw amendment for old daycare buidling expected to pass

Merna Emara
Staff Writer

Fort Frances council is expected to authorize a bylaw amendment request submitted by Tom Veert Contracting Ltd. to change 1150 Portage Ave. from a living area to an employment area with the inclusion of a boarding house. The boarding house will be used for out-of-town travelling employees.

According to the zoning bylaw, a boarding house is a building containing rooming units and may also contain dwelling units and accessory office space that provides accommodation for at least three individuals, but no more than 10.

Tom Veert Contracting Ltd. also submitted another application to change the same location from open space to local commercial.

Cody Vangel, chief building officer and municipal planner for the Town of Fort Frances, said council approved the report itself but will still authorize the actual amendment on next week’s council meeting.

Vangel said after the bylaws are passed, there will be a 20-day period to appeal the decision. After that, amendments will be finalized.

The property on 1150 Portage Ave. is currently designated as a living area and zoned as open space. The current zoning does not support Tom Veert Contracting Ltd.’s proposed use of the facility.

“Under the previous zoning, it was not permitted use to have the office or the accessory dwelling units,” Vangel said.

“That’s why they had to undertake the zoning bylaw amendment.The official plan was previously a living place, which is more so residential uses or uses that cater to a residential neighbourhood. And this being an engineering office, it was required to be changed to an appointment area under the official plan.”

The proposed rezoning request will allow the property to be used as a financial institution, community health, day nursery, office, private club, dwelling units, post office or a retail store not exceeding 185 m².

Vangel said this property was built in 1990 and has been formerly used a childcare facility that was operated by the Town of Fort Frances.

According to the report, the proposed use for the land is better suited with an employment designation because the commercial office use will not directly serve the surrounding neighbourhood. The proposed commercial office space will increase diverse employment opportunities in the Rainy River District and beyond.

“It gives the business an opportunity to expand their operations into more construction engineering type fields, which I think expands economic employment opportunities within the town,” Vangel said.