Council rezones property for new grocery store

The process of seeing a new grocery store built here took a step forward Monday night after council passed a bylaw to rezone the property in the west end of town.
The bylaw was for an amendment, applied for by Loblaw Properties West Inc., to rezone the property at 1112 King’s Highway (located between Witherspoon’s One Stop and Wal-Mart) from M2 (heavy industrial) and C3 (highway commercial) to C2 (general commercial).
According to the proposed plans for the store, the building would be nearly 44,000 sq. ft. in size, with a large parking lot and gas bar.
The bylaw to amend the existing one was voted on after a public meeting earlier Monday evening, during which no one commented for or against the rezoning.
Municipal planner Faye Flatt said Tuesday morning there now will be an appeal period, in which anyone can appeal the rezoning up until Wednesday, March 22.
After this time, the bylaw is finalized and the property deal will be sealed.
In the meantime, Flatt said she’s expecting the developer to submit an application for a site plan control agreement in the next week or so, at which time the town will start working to set conditions for any future construction (such as determining how drainage will run off the property and where sewer and water lines will go).
Assuming everything goes as planned, work on the site should start sometime this construction season, added Flatt.
Mayor Dan Onichuk, who is a minority shareholder in the corporation that owns the property the store may be built on, declared a pecuniary interest in the agenda item during the meeting and did not vote on the bylaw to rezone it.
In other news, a total of $50,000 was divided up Monday night among 13 local recipients as the town disbursed money from the Moffat Family Fund on behalf of the Winnipeg Foundation.
See tomorrow’s Times for the full details.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, town council:
•passed a municipal council resolution calling on the province to establish full, cross-province public hearings on Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) legislation and release its full plans for health care reform (this was submitted by CUPE Locals 4807 and 65);
•approved a request from the Fort Frances High School senior girls’ volleyball team for financial assistance to travel to Dryden for OFSAA on March 6-8 (the amount will be based according to previous assistance of a similar nature);
•heard a verbal report from Mayor Onichuk and Coun. Tannis Drysdale regarding the Ontario Good Roads Association/Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference in Toronto last week;
•received a notice, with appreciation, from the Rainy River Future Development Corp. regarding approval of local initiative funds in the amount of $5,000 for the Fort Frances Heritage Tourism Project;
•approved a break-open ticket licence application for Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association from Feb. 28-Aug. 28, 2006 at Sparky’s Confectionery;
•approved a break-open ticket licence amendment for the Muskie Touchdown Booster Club (to change the location from 229 Scott St. to 244 Scott St. at This ’N That);
•referred a request from the Fort Frances Aquanauts Swim Team regarding the purchase of an advertising banner to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
•referred a request from the Robert Moore School Council for financial support of a snack/breakfast program to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
•agreed to a request from the Canadian Red Cross to proclaim March as “Red Cross Month” in the Town of Fort Frances;
•referred a letter of interest from Daniel Thurber regarding town property at 319 Third St. W. to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
•passed a bylaw to approve an agreement with Shell Canada Products for the supply of fuel at the airport;
•passed a bylaw to approve an amendment to a municipal response agreement with Ontario, as represented by the Ministry of Natural Resources, with respect to human/black bear conflict management in town;
•passed a bylaw to approve an additional agreement with Ontario, as represented by the Ministry of Natural Resources, with respect to funding under the “Bear Wise” Community Funding Program; and
•referred a resolution from the Town of Halton Hills regarding federal gas tax funding to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation.