The former site of a garage in downtown St. Jacobs could become a mixed commercial-residential building under a plan still in the early stages. Once home to Good’s Garage, the land is being considered for a three-storey building that would provide storefront units on the ground floor, with apartments and perhaps even offices on the upper levels.
Having relocated the operation to Henry Street, the owners of the property have been talking with Woolwich officials about possible redevelopment plans.
The C1 ‘core commercial’ zoning provides for a variety of uses, says the township’s manager of planning.
“The zoning allows for a three-storey building. It would allow mixed use, as long as the first floor frontage is commercial,” John Scarfone explained.
A plan that met those requirements could move ahead with only site-plan approval needed.
One issue the township will be looking at closely, however, is parking. Unlike Elmira, where there is a large municipal lot, St. Jacobs has parking issues downtown. That means development of the site would have to include
an appropriate amount of parking.
“In places like Elmira, we might take cash-in-lieu if they (developers) want to reduce the amount of parking. In St. Jacobs … we really want them to provide parking.”
A larger concern, though, is the constraint on overall development in the village due to a lack of capacity at the sewage treatment plant there. Others, including Mercedes Corp., Home Hardware and developers of the Valleyview Heights subdivision, are interested in expansion, eyeing closely the capacity figures.
With a capacity of 1.45 million litres per day and a current usage of 0.98 million litres, the plant has room to handle growth in the village of about 289 more people. The number is actually up over the past couple of years, due largely to a new formula for calculating capacity, but represents only a small part of potential development.
Mercedes, for instance, has scaled back plans for a residential project on lots at 10 Front St. and 1441 King St. N. in St. Jacobs. Originally looking at 70 units, they cut that to 46 before dropping the size down to the 14 townhouses proposed last year.
There’s a pressing need for upgrades at the sewage plant, but no work is scheduled until 2014.