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Rezoning application for 230 Jackson discussed at Special Council Meeting

by Adam Gault

The Town of Essex held a special Council meeting this past Monday to discuss a rezoning application for the property at 230 Jackson Street in Colchester.

During the meeting, Planning Report 2018-46 titled, “Jason McKee rezoning application,” was received and tabled for public review. This allowed council members to hear public representations regarding the proposed rezoning, with no decision regarding the potential rezoning to be made at the meeting.

Jason McKee, the owner of the property in question, wishes to rezone the currently zoned residential property located directly north of Frosty’s restaurant into a site for six single-detached, cottage-style units for tourist accommodation.

“The [current] zoning is R1.1, which is exclusively single detached residential, allows a single-family home,” Essex Policy Planner, Jeff Watson, explained. “The request is to have the zoning changed by supplementary regulations to add the provision for five additional single detached units.”

This would keep the property zoned as residential, but with the provision for the short-term rental units.

As the area east of Jackson Street is considered part of the “Main Street Area” under the Colchester Secondary Plan, a number of provisions and recommendations would apply, including the height of the buildings, adequate parking, municipal services, and keeping with the general architectural theme of Colchester.

“My intention is to maintain the nautical theme,” potential site developer, McKee, said of his designs for the project. “It really has been designed to represent a Newfoundland or P.E.I fishing village. There’s really no underlying agenda, other than the fact that I really want to see Colchester kind of flourish back to what it once was when my family grew up their many years ago.”

Concerns over parking availability and accessibility were raised during the meeting, with McKee stating there will be parking for nine vehicles at this time, and that extra considerations could be made to ensure the property is more accessible to those with mobility issues.

The potential for noise and disruption in the largely residential area was another concern brought up during the meeting, to which McKee said he would like to have a permanent property supervisor onsite to deal with any issues that may arise over the course of a guest’s stay.

“I love the idea. I’m ecstatic about it, I think it’s great,” Councillor Bondy said. “Personally, I think it fits the area, and I think it’ll be a really good addition to what we have going on [in Colchester]. I will absolutely support this application when the time comes.”

Essex’s Planning Department will now prepare a report with specific recommendations regarding the proposal to be brought forward at the December 17 council meeting. 

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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