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Zoning for the Village Commerical Centre

On June 14 the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake hosted an Open House to review with town residents the zoning applications for property in the Village Centre.  This property which now includes the CIBC, Shoppers Drug Mart, Garrison House and adjacent offices will be developed to include numerous additional businesses.

Below are notes taken by Sue Henry and reviewed for clarification by John and Adam Hawley.   We hope you will find them helpful in understanding the proposed changes in the zoning requested for the expansion of the commercial development of this area.

John and Adam Hawley will also be sending out additional communication in the near future with information and illustrations to inform Village residents if the proposed development.   To ensure you are on John’s mailing list contact John at

Next DatePublic Meeting - Monday July 9, 2018
Council Chambers,  1593 Four Mile Creek Road
6:30 pm

Notes from June 14, 2018 Open House at Town Hall
By Sue Henry

Review of zoning applications for Village Commercial Properties with Adam and John Hawley

Five significant aspects of the Rezoning Application
  1. Add zoning uses including Grocery Store and Hotel
    1. Change zoning to accommodate larger size of grocery store
    2. Adding Hotel to previously approved zoning
  2. Clarity on retail classifications
    1. The current zoning allows for both local and visitor retail stores. Clarity has been requested on what constitutes a "Retail Store" as there is ambiguity in the Zoning By-Law. For example, an Art Gallery where art is displayed and sold to the public has its own zoning definition but is clearly a Retail Store. 
  3. Zoning on local and visitor retail classifications to be merged - doesn’t make sense to use those definitions. 
  4. Increased height
    1. 36 to 55 ft height for Hotel and Assembly Hall
      1. 4 story hotel
      2. Tower on Assembly Hall
    2. Others buildings 36 to 42 ft allowing for more interesting roof lines.  (Not additional floors)
    3. Buildings that line Garrison Village Drive and Perez Road to remain at 36 ft
  5. 6 metre set back from HWY 55 at corner of HWY 55 and Niven Road. Rather than 15 metres. Was approved years ago but got lost in the Town’s last Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw overhaul
What is currently being considered (which is subject to change):
Niven Road/Highway 55
  • Assembly Hall at corner with HWY 55
  • Boutique Hotel next to Niven
  • Dedicated Hotel parking
Perez - Liner buildings
  • Apartments on second story, and parking on grade below (will appear from Perez looking south as the first floor of a two storey building)
  • Approx. 14 units for short and long term rentals
  • Considering one and two bedroom units with kitchenette
  • Large parking area behind these liner buildings
Garrison Village Drive (GVD) – Live-Work Units
  • Office/business at street level and apartments above
  • Large parking area behind these buildings
  • Backing onto current CIBC/Shoppers
Garrison Village Drive (GVD) – Condo/Town Houses
  • Across from CIBC/Shoppers
  • Later development – not in this Commercial Phase
  • Could be two-story condo or townhouses. 
  • Not planned yet
  • Currently zoned for 36 ft height
Intersection of GVD and CIBC/Shoppers
  • A possible solution to this challenging intersection is a small round about
  • This would need to be approved by the Town because this is a Town road
  • A round about would eliminate current stop signs, etc
  • Would allow traffic in and out of Village along GVD
  • To go with the round about there is consideration to changing the current lane in front of CIBC/Shoppers to one way in only (no exit through traffic circle)
  • Would continue to new retail shops and restaurants toward Niven
  • Would connect to short road back to HWY 55 and parking behind new retail area
  • A new exit to HWY 55 (proposed to be a Right in and Right out only; no left turn towards Old Town) is also being considered but will need Regional approval as it’s a regional road
    • Those wanting to turn back towards Old Town will have to use Niven or GVD exit
About the Development:
Architectural Codes will apply.
Assembly hall
  • Considering 250 people capacity
  • Ark shaped (NewARK)
  • Multi use – performances, events, religious services, etc.
  • Asking for height increase to incorporate tower at Niven/HWY 55 entrance (36 ft to 55 ft)
Boutique Hotel
  • 60-80 rooms (this number is required to be financially viable)
  • Four floors – (Need increase in height 36 ft to 55 ft)
  • No decision on who will run it , but several high end hotel chains may be considered
  • Dedicated parking for guests will be in front of Hotel facing Niven
  • All surface parking (underground is considerably more expensive)
  • Some present at the Open House requested landscaping to enhance Niven street-view
Retail space
  • Still considering mix and sizes
  • There will be both local and tourist mix
  • Restaurants and offices as well
  • No large medical centre will be included as was previously considered
Concerns expressed by those in attendance
  • Parking – will there be enough – will it spill over into the residential area
  • The current concept plan shows more parking than required by Town bylaws
  • Over 400 spaces in current plan but this might vary depending on final plans
  • Town will review parking as part of the Site Plan approval process
  • Traffic – additional flow could cause congestion and accessing problems for Village for residents
  • Several new entrances provided
  • Town will review traffic flow as part of the Site Plan approval process
  • How will restaurant service delivery and garbage collection be handled
  • Several collection locations will be needed with frequent collection
  • Will be a requirement of restaurants operating in area
  • SupperMarket and Farmers’ Market – will it continue
  • The plan is to continue the Markets utilizing the Town park space in front of CIBC/Shoppers, (subject to Town approval)
  • Some parking will be available within The Village Centre, with plans to supplement with parking at Jackson-Triggs and Stratus with golf cart shuttles
  • Currently up to 300 cars park for the SupperMarket during the busiest times
  • How will the Traffic Circle at GVD and CIBC/Shoppers work?
  • Town will study usability
  • Pedestrian access to The Village Centre across GVD will be considered
  • One-way flow into commercial area will be reviewed as well
  • Hotel height increase
  • Needed to accommodate number of rooms (60-80) to be viable
  • Planned for the corner of Niven Road and Hwy 55
  • Alternative to increased height is a larger foot-print (longer)
  • Why the Assembly Hall height increase?
  • So the building can be properly designed with proper propositions and a tower element
  • Facing Niven/HWY 55 corner
  • A signature building enhancing visual interest coming into town
  • Appearance from Niven – all parking at hotel and common parking area
  • Need for landscaping in front of hotel and common parking area
  • More trees and landscaped berm suggested
  • More landscaping will be provided
  • This will be part of the Site Plan process
  • How will traffic flow to/from HWY 55 work?
  • Additional exit from Commercial area to HWY 55
  • Additional traffic moved to Niven through additional exit to Niven from Commercial area
  • Suggested reduction to Region on Speed limit to 50 from 70
    • Hwy 55 speed limit was reduced to 50km/h several years ago but was then raised back up to 70 km/h 
    • Town could/should make request to Region to reduce to 50 km/h again
Other comments/suggestions:
  • Could traffic circle or traffic light be considered at Niven and HWY 55?
    • Response: That’s a Town/Region issue that would require traffic studies and justification
  • Does the developer have a green and sustainable goal?
    • Response: The developer plans to review environmentally friendly options for The Village Centre
  • Will there be an area for kids?
    • Response: Could be something in the Town park space in front of The Village Centre
  • What is the expected timing?
    • Response: Depending on Town approvals – the hope is to start construction in 2019
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