By-law amendment results in less parking places at Canadian Tire


By Karen Fallon

Via a recorded vote council narrowly agreed to an application to allow the local Canadian Tire, 380 Sandwich Street South, to decrease its parking spaces from 164 to143, at the meeting held Oct. 15.

With Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland and councilors Diane Pouget and Bart DiPasquale voting against the zoning by-law amendment, Mayor Wayne Hurst broke the tie vote.

Pouget says she voted against the motion for “safety reasons.”

“Based on the number of complaints I have received during the summer, I really felt like I was working as a complaint department…it all dealt with parking problems” said Pouget. “To reduce the parking spots from 164 to 143 will really add more congestion.”

A parking study was conducted by Dillon Consulting Ltd. in June 2012, notes town planner Rebecca Belanger in her report, which is typically the busiest month for Canadian Tire in terms of retail sales.

The study concluded that the current parking demand could support the parking reduction without significant impact.

Councillor Carolyn Davies says she supported the motion because in her opinion Canadian Tire has been a “good neighbor” and a “tremendous asset to the  community.”

“I think it has brought an economy to our town; it has added employment to our town; the owner (Jeff Levy) has shown some creativity which is maybe a little more than we are used,” said Davies. “The owner has shown a willingness to cooperate in any way that will help things flow.”

Councillor John Sutton agreed and added: “I think what we have here is a business owner trying to do something good for his business and the community at large, recognizing that there was some issues at hand.”

“Now he has worked with our planning department to rectify that situation,” added Sutton. “ We have been assured by the experts in that department that this particular solution will see increases in safety.”

As I alluded to (at a public meeting) earlier one can only hope that our local businesses have the same headaches as Devonshire Mall at Christmas time and their parking woes, because it will show that we are doing something right,” Sutton continued.

While agreeing with the “accolades” given to Levy, DiPasquale says he couldn’t support the motion because he doesn’t believe there will be enough parking spots because of the stores growth.

The deputy mayor says as he didn’t support the application in the earlier public session, he would have to stay the same course and vote against it at the council meeting.

Councillor Robert Pillon says he puts his trust in the experts in the planning department who recommended approval of the application as it addressed some of the concerns earlier expressed.

“We are not professional people they are and that is what I rely on,” said Pillon.

To improve the site line for cars pulling out of the lot the curb radius will be adjusted, while the existing fire route will be maintained. The Pickering Street access will be reconfigured by removing a traffic island that allows only one-way entry and exit and a tree that stands on municipal property will be removed.

Mayor Wayne Hurst concluded by saying that he believes that council made the right decision as it will serve “all of the people in Amherstburg.”

“I want to commend Jeff on all the work he has done in the community as a “good corporate citizen,” Hurst concluded

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