Proposed residential development at the former W.T. Laing Public School site discussed in Wallaceburg

Trident Builders held a public information meeting in Wallaceburg on Monday, October 17, 2022 to discuss the proposed residential development at the former W.T. Laing Public School property at 800 Elizabeth Street.

Project details shared

David French, a planner with Storey Samways Planning Ltd., facilitated the meeting on behalf of the developers, which included details about the project, along with a question and answer session with community members in attendance.

“The Planning Act process that we’re going through is a re-zoning to permit the residential uses and the Draft Plan of Subdivision to effectively control and create an organized development on the site,” French said at the meeting.

Both of these processes are public processes, French added.

“At this point in time it’s anticipated that the Council meeting will be November 28 at city hall in Chatham,” he said.

“This is one step in the process. We’re not through the process yet, we’re still quite a ways away, but for the next two months, please appreciate that there has been about a year in background work that has been done to get to this point.”

French said phase one of the proposal will see the construction of 16 semi-detached dwellings, with 32 dwelling units, with 11 dwellings, with 22 units, fronting on Elizabeth Street, and the remaining five dwellings, with 10 units, fronting on Lisgar Street.

Phase two, which will front on Elgin Street, proposes the construction of four townhouse dwellings containing 24 dwelling units.

French added the final phasing order is still to be confirmed.

The full slide show presentation from Monday can be seen, here.

Trident Builders team in attendance

The Trident Builders team was introduced at Monday’s meeting, including a number of local professionals, who are assisting the Trident team with the project.

Dana Haggith Photo

Former Wallaceburg Councillor Jeff Wesley, who along with his daughter Lindsey Anderson from the Anderson Law Group in Wallaceburg, have been hired by the developers as the solicitors for the project.

“Lindsey and myself with the Anderson Law Group are very pleased to be working with the developers to bring something that I feel is a very positive attribute to the community of Wallaceburg,” Wesley said at the meeting.

“I’ve been around long enough that I remember when there was a dilapidated school house there, that was definitely an eye sore. We were able to get rid of that building and now it has been a vacant lot, that doesn’t look the best at the best of times. This is what I think is a very good and positive development for the community of Wallaceburg and it’s one of many good things happening.”

Wesley said this project is going to provide some additional housing for the community and will add to Wallaceburg’s growth.

“When you look at the changes taking place in the downtown, potentially on the southside, when you put all of those things together I think it is about time that our community benefited from some of those developments that are out there and some of the growth that seems to be happening in other places,” he said.

Wesley added he’s been working with the team from Trident Builders for some time.

“You can’t find a nicer group of people to deal with,” Wesley said.

“They are truly about the community and some of them are living quite close by now because they’ve got that much faith in the community. This is one step in a lot of plans that they have. As we go through this process there are going to be questions, and that is what this is all about, to provide answers to those questions to everybody. I’m very proud to be a part of it and I’m very proud of Wallaceburg and I think this is a great development for everybody going forward.”

Dana Haggith Photo

Former Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope is also assisting the developers with the project.

Hope said once the project receives planning approvals, some infrastructure work will be required in the area as well.

“The developer is also paying one third of the cost associated to upgrading Elizabeth and Lisgar,” he said.

“It will be done because in order for this development to move forward that infrastructure that is on Lisgar and Elizabeth, it is so old, it’s falling apart. That has to be re-done and it is part of the development plan.”

Hope added: So when we get the planning approval and get moving, and the Councillors are well aware of what’s going on here, it will be done. This will have new roads, new curbs and new lines both separated sewer system, both sanitary and waste. That will all be done as this development moves forward. If this gets approved and it goes through the planning process and the Council understands the capital plan, it will be done, or else this can’t move forward.”

An architect and an engineer hired by Trident Builders, a representative from the Chatham-Kent Planning Department, Wallaceburg Councillors Carmen McGregor and Aaron Hall and approximately 30 people from the public were in attendance on Monday.

Q&A held at the meeting

A question and answer session was held as part of Monday’s meeting.

Questions around parking, flooding and construction timing were among the items asked from the public.

French said the feedback from the public on Monday will be included in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent staff report, expected to be on the Council agenda next month.

French said he can be reached at 519-354-4351 or if anyone has any follow-up questions.

He said there will also be opportunities in the future for people to participate in the process and express their opinions.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent will be sending a letter to neighbours 20 days ahead of the November 28, 2022 Council meeting, French added.

“The processes, if you wish to submit objections or if you are in favour of it and you wish to make that known, it says who to contact,” he said.

Construction could start as early as the spring of 2023 and could take approximately 18 months to complete, French added.

Watch for more on this story in the coming weeks and months.

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