Public opposition at condo presentation

Nick Seebruch
Public opposition at condo presentation
The vision of CH Clement to build condos around the marina and on public lands (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).

CORNWALL, Ontario – An unusually packed Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting heard the proposal to build condos on Cornwall’s waterfront in Legion Park behind the marina.

Before the presentation even began at the June 22 meeting, there were vocal protests from the audience.

Glen Grant, a former city councillor and PAC chair stood up and demanded to be heard.

Meeting chair Councillor Carilyne Hébert told Grant that there would be no public comment at this meeting as C.H. Clement Construction, who were presenting the condo plan, where only presenting a conceptual idea and that nothing would be decided on that night.

“You’re going to listen to me anyway,” Grant said. “This is totally out of order. It is so cart before the horse it is unbelievable and it stinks.’

After a heated debate between  Grant and the Mayor, Grant walked out of the meeting before the presentation began.

“To go to PAC, there are a number of different criteria and this doesn’t fit,” Grant explained. “They don’t own the land. Why don’t they give the opportunity to everybody an opportunity to put forth a conceptual idea.”

They Mayor did however make the point later on that everyone should be given a fair shot at developing on that land if this project every got to the stage.

The presentation from CH Clement Construction showed that this project would require a bike path and a baseball diamond to be moved. Some condo buildings will also be built on historic Point Maligne.

Charles Clement, of CH Clement Construction said he felt prepared for opposition.

“We always have people who are not in favour of our project, I’m used to that,” he said. “Everytime we do a project, I never hear back that we didn’t do a good job. So everyone is happy with it.”

Clement promised that this project will bring tax revenue to the City and would attract people to the waterfront area.

“These units are between $240, 000 to $250, 000 so they are very affordable,” he said.

There will be 108 condo units.

Clement assured the committee that he and his firm had taken steps to cooperate with the community and get everyone on board.

“The baseball people are supportive of project,” he claimed. “I have a letter that they support the project, and the BIA they are the same.”

He said that one feature of the project that sold the baseball interests was the promise of washrooms, change rooms and more parking space.

The land is owned by the federal government and Clement said that he had federal approval.

In total, he claimed the project will cost $25 to $30 million.

At the end of the presentation, CH Clement explained that hockey legend Guy Lafleur had given them the idea for the project and will be promoting it on their behalf.

Councillor Denis Carr thanked CH Clement Construction for their presentation and wished them all the best.

Councillor Bernadette Clement told them that the public can be very passionate about their waterfront lands and that Council will be taking their cues from them.

She also stressed that it is important that the waterfront is accessible to the public, Charles Clement said that he will be giving a gazebo to the public along the bike path, which will be re-routed behind the condos and away from the waterfront.

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