Mary Simpson and Denise Corneil submitted comments and questions to Southwest Middlesex as part of the public consultation for the SWM Official Planning process. Many thanks to Janneke Newitt and Council for responding promptly. We’ll post the questions with the answers over the next few days. Click on the Jan 14th page above for more information about SWM’s consultation with the public.
Mary and Denise:
1. Please delay closing the official plan on the Wardsville section. It needs more research and public input before making it “official”. For instance, there has been a negative reaction towards the term “retirement community”. There are many unanswered questions about the proposed boundary expansion.
Please note that the phrase ‘retirement community” is not in the draft official plan. The Plan simply suggests that the amenities there tend to lend themselves to attract that sector of society. Without discouraging any sector, smaller municipalities that have been successful economically have all chosen a niche to focus on as they’ve recognized that they can’t be everything to all people. That’s what we’re trying to do with the different urban areas of SWM.
Mary and Denise:
2. Please look at the issue of seniors’ housing carefully. Has this issue been address adequately? Seniors are moving away because there is no available housing. Beattie Haven is planning redevelopment and needs input eventually from Southwest Middlesex as well as West Elgin.
You may be aware that there is a private investor in Glencoe who is interested in constructing a senior’s apartment complex and who is just now attempting to gain federal and provincial funding support for designation as affordable housing. As you know, any of these ventures must be either private or non-profit in nature as the municipality isn’t in a position to become a developer.
We’ve provided support to the above venture in the form of assistance with appropriate contacts and also with letters of encouragement that will accompany their application. Municipalities can promote attractive development sites with appropriate zoning and services, along with well-informed and helpful staff but, in the end, all development including senior’s housing, family residential, commercial and industrial, is driven by either the private or non-profit sectors.