OMB dismisses appeal against 15-storey condo
GRIMSBY — An appeal by a Grimsby resident over a town council decision to permit a 15-story condo on Grimsby’s waterfront has been dismissed by the Ontario Municipal Board.LJM Developments has been given final approval from the OMB to move ahead with the second phase of its Waterview Condominums project, nearly a year after the town initially approved the development. The decision, made in December 2016, was appealed last February by Dorothy Bothwell, a Grimsby resident who said she was taking the lead in filing a claim with the OMB on behalf of area residents concerned with growth.
In a decision dated Dec. 27, OMB member Richard Jones dismissed the appeal of the Official Plan amendment made for the property at 560 North Service Rd., writing “provincial policy is supportive of the application and the board heard planning testimony which was uniformly favourable of the development, testimony which was not challenged or contradicted by opposing expert evidence” during the hearing held Oct. 30.
LJM Developments president LJ Mian said he is pleased the decision has arrived, noting the project is facing a one-year delay and much time and financial resources were invested into fighting the appeal.
“There was no case to begin with — it was all politically motivated,” Mian said in an interview. “This area needs intensification and we are still lower density compared to what was permitted. We followed the policies of the government. They were very clear from day one.”
Mian said the project will be a “landmark building” for the town, not only falling in line with the Winston Neighbourhood Plan, but also in advance of the work to come through the Grimsby Go Transit Station Secondary Plan.
“These are very iconic buildings we are building there. It’s a gateway project that will change the landscape and the whole development process,” he said.
Shaheryar Mian, business development director for LJM, said they hope the project will encourage more thoughtful, smart growth in the neighbourhood.
“LJM believes this will become a centrepiece for Grimsby as you pass by the highway. It will be a beautiful structure and encourage greater innovation and architecture,” said Shaheryar. “We’re happy there is a lot of good development happening in the area and we’re committed to good architecture and being good neighbours.”
Phase 1 of the Waterview project is complete and residents are expected to take occupancy as early as next month in the first 82 units. The second phase, said Mian, is moving “full speed” and will feature 178 units — 48 of which will be in the additional six storeys approved by the OMB. They are also currently doing planning work for a third and fourth phase on property just east of their current site.