New retirement home in the works for Smiths Falls
A new retirement home may soon be coming to Smiths Falls. Town staff are currently recommending that council approve a zoning amendment for lands located off Pearl Street for use as a retirement home.
“I think it introduces a new and needed form of housing in the community,” said Karl Grenke, senior planner.
The 35-acre parcel of land is currently zoned residential. The applicant, Jim Parsons (Broadview Nursing Centre) is looking to sever 13 acres off that parcel and is requesting a site-specific zoning amendment to Institutional Special Exception to allow for a long-term care facility.
“The Parsons lot is irregularly shaped and does not currently have open public road frontage although it is accessed by several unopened municipal road allowances that connect to Pearl Street,” Grenke told members of council, at the August 10, Committee of the Whole meeting.
At this stage most of the necessary consultations have been completed, including a public meeting hosted by the Planning Advisory Committee with residents in the immediate vicinity.
“Concerns about traffic and driveway access and higher density and privacy were the main points raised,” said Grenke.
There were also residents who felt that a long term care facility would be better located in a commercial area.
“I think density was one of the things we had to have a closer look at, to make sure that any development fits in within the broad community,” said Grenke.
But it was decided that a 200 bed facility on roughly 13 acres, wasn’t going to introduce a significantly higher level of traffic into the neighbourhood above and beyond what’s already there.
A traffic assessment has been completed, as well as an environmental impact assessment, both of which give the development a green light.
Meanwhile Parsons is proposing to put a “holding provision” on the proposed development, until any and all conditions that council has are met. Committee members were generally receptive to the proposed amendment.
“I think a long term care facility is a much needed addition to the community,” said Wendy Alford, Councillor.
The holding provision will remain in place until concerns over road allowances and privacy for neighbours are dealt with through the site plan process. Council is planning to approve the application at the August 26 Special Council meeting.
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