Resort-event centre proposed near Port Rowan

Condo proposal will appeal to horse lovers

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PORT ROWAN Norfolk County has received a second proposal for a conference-event centre on Front Road along the shore of Lake Erie.

The latest one comes from Long Point developer Jeff Bouck for a 59-acre property at 436 Front Rd., between Port Rowan and Booth’s Harbour.

At the heart of the  property in the agricultural zone is a horse-riding facility and stable. Bouck is planning a resort featuring 23 tourist cabins, a riding arena, a wedding and conference centre and a restaurant with a “saloon” theme.

In a report to Norfolk council, which was to be considered Tuesday, senior planner Mohammad Alam said “resorted-oriented residential condominiums, tourist activities, and agri-tourism are historically present in the locality.”

But Alam said provincial policy in the agricultural zone doesn’t explicitly allow for Bouck’s proposal to build tourist cabins as a freehold condominium corporation.

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“Staff believe that creating 23 new lots may need a creative approach to be consistent with the provincial policy statements,” said the planner, adding the developer may want to explore the ownership of individual cabins without subdividing the property into separate lots.

Bouck is represented by G. Douglas Vallee Ltd. of Simcoe.

Eldon Darbyson, Vallee’s director of planning, said the proposal is consistent with tourism-, recreation-, and leisure- oriented activities established in the surrounding neighbourhood.

“The lands are small in scale, the proposed on-site uses are small in scale, and the development does not have impacts on agricultural land, natural features, the road network, or adjacent land uses,” Darbyson says.

“The concept is unique in nature, is a desired local and tourism destination located on the lakeshore, and provides for needed overnight and roofed accommodations.”

The Long Point Region Conservation Authority said the developer will have to be careful with new construction.

“The subject lands are prone to flooding and erosion from Lake Erie and flooding and erosion from a watercourse draining into Lake Erie,” the authority said. “The lands also contain and are adjacent to provincially significant wetlands.”

The LPRCA said there should be no issues if development is built away from water and erosion hazards.

In his report, Alam noted that no objections to Bouck’s proposal have been received.

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This is in contrast to a resort-hotel proposal on a 50-acre parcel at 2780 Front Rd., south of Vittoria, which was first considered by council last October.

The proposal, filed by developer Blair McKeil of Shoreline Developments, prompted a 50-signature petition in opposition, due mainly to increased traffic concerns in Port Ryerse and Fisher’s Glen and potential conflicts with surrounding agriculture. Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus and Charlotteville Coun. Chris VanPaassen criticized the proposal on these counts.

In response, McKeil informed the county April 9 that he was shelving the application. Instead, he will focus on a 375-unit condominium proposal for the former Gamble Shipyard at Lynn Street and Chapman Street East in Port Dover.

MSonnenberg@postmedia,com

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