Notice of Hearing of The Committee of Adjustment Concerning Minor Variance to 351 John Street in Cobourg

In City Hall, Editor Choice

The Town of Cobourg Committee of Adjustment has received an application from Patricia Labelle of 351 John Street,
Cobourg, Ontario for a Minor Variance to Comprehensive Zoning By-law No. 85-2003 in accordance with Section 45 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.P.13 as amended. The purpose and effect of the proposed Minor Variance is to introduce four (4) rooms to an existing legal non-conforming rooming house and to permit reduced number of parking spaces.

The applicant is seeking the following variance:
 To expand the legal non-conforming use of the existing rooming house to allow the addition of four (4) rooms to the
existing four (4) room building.
 To allow a reduced number of parking spaces associated with the additional rooms down to zero (0) when the
Zoning By-law requires an additional four (4) parking spaces (one per room) as per Section 6 of the Zoning By-law.

A Hearing will be held by the Committee of Adjustment on Tuesday, May 11th 2021 via Zoom Video Conference at 4:00 p.m. Please note if a party who is notified does not attend the hearing or make written submissions prior to the Hearing, the Committee can proceed and the party is not entitled to any further notice.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Committee of Adjustment Hearings will be conducted through Zoom Video Conference Applications. If you wish to be a Participant at the Video Hearing, you should register with Brent Larmer, Municipal Clerk, via e-mail at or by phone at (905)372-4301 no later than 4:00 pm on May 10th. Please ensure that you have a computer or tablet with good internet access to enable you to participate in the Public Meeting electronically. If you do not wish to participate by video, or do not have the necessary technology, you may use a telephone and call in to participate. Alternatively, written submissions to the Municipal Clerk, 55 King Street West, Cobourg, Ontario, K9A 2M2 in advance of the Video Hearing are encouraged and will be made available to any interested person at the Hearing.
The details for participating in the Hearing are as follows:
Phone: +1 647 558 0588 Canada +1 647 374 4685 Canada
Meeting ID: 865 3090 8464
Password: N/A
Citizens may tune into the LIVE YouTube feed to watch the Hearing at

If a person or public body that files an appeal of a decision of the Town of Cobourg Committee of Adjustment in respect of the proposed Consents does not make written submissions to the Committee of Adjustment before it gives or refuses to give a Provisional Consent, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) may dismiss the appeal.
If you wish to be notified of the decision of the Committee of Adjustment in respect of the proposed Consents, you must make a written submission to the Town of Cobourg Committee of Adjustment, c/o the Secretary-Treasurer at the address listed below.

Additional information which will enable the public to understand the proposed application is available upon request by
contacting the Town’s Planning Department, c/o Rob Franklin, Manager – Planning, Victoria Hall, 55 King Street West,
Cobourg, K9A 2M2, via e-mail at or by phone at 905-372-1005 during regular office hours.
DATED at Cobourg this 29th day of April, 2021
ZONE: Residential Three (R3) Zone
Adriane Miller, Secretary-Treasurer
Committee of Adjustment

Letter from Applicant

Addendum to Minor Variance Application

Re: 351 John Street

Dear Committee Members,

This letter provides some background and rationale for my proposal and application.

Firstly. I wish to express to you that we are losing approximately $1,000.00 per month by trying to maintain this property properly. We would like to be able to earn an income on this property, while at the same time providing housing for people in need.

We have owned this rooming house since 2011. Originally, it had 5 units and was deemed a rooming house for that reason. Although, when we brought the house up to code in 2014, we built a fire escape and the design we chose forced us to eliminate 1 unit. We do have regular fire inspections as required. I have leases signed that specify “no parking space” for all tenants but the superintendent, who has 1 space assigned to him for his e-bike. There is room for 2 cars as well at this property, but in 10 years of owning this property, only 1 tenant has owned a car.

All of the tenants that I rent to at this property are on Ontario Works and cannot afford to drive a car. There is a bus stop at the end of the block and the house is within walking distance of many of the town’s amenities, including a grocery store, 2 drug stores and downtown shopping. The extra parking spaces are just not needed.

There are many examples around town of rental units that do not have parking. I own another rooming house that has 5 units at 413 Division Street. This house has room for 2 cars as well. In the 34 years I have owned this house, I have only had 2 tenants, at different times, that have owned a vehicle and it’s never posed a parking problem. But, the best example that I know of is 21 King Street East. It is also a rooming house. I was speaking with the new owner, Sherri, and she said she has 14 units and provides no parking. She also told me that there are many apartments downtown that have no parking provided for the tenants. Most of these renters just do not own cars. Again, the parking is just not needed for them.

Another reason to build these rooms at 351 John Street is the shortage of affordable housing in the area. In fact, the rental vacancy rate in Cobourg is 0.3%.

I believe that I’m providing a valuable service to the community with affordable housing for people that would otherwise, probably, be homeless. I never have a shortage of people looking for rooms to rent. Almost every month I’m asked if I have anything available. In fact, I know of 2 people right now that would love to rent a room at 351 John Street. One is “couch surfing” and the other is at the Transition House.

Finally, I wish to say that building these rooms would support the community by stimulating the local economy and providing jobs for local trades people such as John Wakelin and Steve harris, who would be working on the project, not to mention the tax revenue it would provide.

In my opinion, the benefits of building these rooms to provide housing and support the economy, far outweigh the risk of posing a parking problem.


Patricia LaBelle

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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