Cobourg Council Unmoved By Parking-Lot Protest

In City Hall, Local

Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
John Lee of Phoenix Genesis Group appeared before Cobourg council Monday to offer what he called a public-service announcement about the proposed development at 22-28-36 Queen Street.
Lee questioned figures presented by the developer last week that will affect the tax revenue the town can expect from the project. For example, their estimate of $500 in residential-condominium value per square foot is “extremely optimistic,” and $300 to $400 would be more likely. The result would be perhaps $215,000 in property taxes vs. the $300,000 estimated last week.
Lee was also concerned with the proposal to sell the municipal parking lot at the corner of Queen and McGill streets that the developer will replace with a three-storey building and public-access parking on their development. This will be heated undergound parking that Lee fears will attract “vagrants and other unsavoury people. Frankly, it could be a crime issue,” he predicted.
He also expressed his opinion that the parking amenities (electronic gates, security personnel, closed-circuit-TV monitoring, elevator, lighting, heating, administration) will not be provided by the developer if the project proves to be a bust.
Lee is also concerned about the possibility of losing the eight surface-level 15-minute parking spots people rely upon to use the post office that is located across the street from the parking lot. While post-office patrons can certainly use the public-access underground parking, he said, it is a far more cumbersome process for seniors than simply stopping a car in a convenient spot and stepping out.
“Perhaps there could be a public meeting where everyone can have their say,” he suggestesd.
Pointing out that Phoenix Genesis has large-scale condominium developments of its own, Mayor Gil Brocanier suggestsed that some might perceive a conflict of interest in Lee’s presentation.
“We don’t consider this to be competition whatsoever,” Lee countered.
Quite the opposite, he stated. As owners of nine commercial stores in the heritage district, he said, they see it another way – the more people who take up residence near the downtown, the better.
Council accepted the presentation for information purposes, and passed the motion that later came up to declare the parking-lot property as surplus and offer it for private sale.

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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