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Council approves pair of rezonings

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An empty lot at the corner of the 700 block of Scott Street and Butler Avenue will be developed to provide additional parking and storage for the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board later this year.

The local DSSAB, which recently purchased the property at 737 Scott St., has requested it be rezoned from type R2 residential to C2 commercial, with plans to make the site a usable storage building and parking area for the corporation, including the EMS staff stationed at the ambulance building across the street to the east.

Development plans include a 12-space parking lot facing Scott Street, with a metal clad storage building located at the rear of the site.

Council agreed to rezone the property at its regular meeting last night, and directed administration to prepare a bylaw for final approval of the rezoning at the March 25 council meeting.

The DSSAB then will have to apply for a site plan control agreement application and building permit so work can get underway by this summer.

Also at last night's meeting, council agreed to a site-specific Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw designation changes for property at 520 Scott St., with a bylaw for each application to be brought forward for passage at the March 25 council meeting.

Rosengarten Holdings INC, represented by Kim Metke, has requested the property be rezoned from C2 commercial to R2 residential and its usage designation under the Official Plan changed to “Living" from "Employment.”

In a Jan. 31 meeting with the Committee of Adjustment, Metke explained the property, located just east of Stan's Carpet & Drapery, has had multiple tenants over the years.

Without consistent tenants, profits have been low as the building has sat empty most of the last five years, Chief Building Official and municipal planner Tyson Dennis noted in a report.

Metke also noted that as the residents of Fort Frances become older, he's had inquiries for residential rental units.

Metke's plan is to renovate the building into residential units, which will allow for accessible units near downtown amenities, Dennis wrote.

Also at last night's meeting, council:

  • agreed to implement an agreement with the Rainy River Future Development Corp. to be a partner for the utilization of Municipal Accommodation Tax funds for tourism promotion, and further that council hereby appoint one member to the committee being established by RRFDC to guide how those tax funds are spent to promote tourism marketing for the community;
  • approved Municipal Accommodation Tax grants for three local providers in the amount of $3,071.98 (this is for software purchases and upgrades in regards to the new Municipal Accommodation Tax);
  • agreed to support resolutions put forward by the Town of Kearney and Town of Mono regarding the municipal voters' list;
  • endorsed a revised facility rental policy;
  • agreed to a recommendation to accept the request letter from Gillons' Insurance for 2019 parking passes as information and that the charges remain the same as listed in the invoice, and further directed administration to forward a letter to Gillons' Insurance explaining the rationale of the decision as outlined in the report; and
  • approved a renewal agreement for purposes of providing call taking, alerting, or dispatching for the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service with Kenora Central Ambulance Communications Centre Lake of the Woods District Hospital for the period April 1, 2019-Dec. 31, 2019 and that an authorizing bylaw be prepared for signing by the mayor and clerk.
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