My Review of King's Draft Official Plan (November 2017): Part 2
I want to look at the core area of Schomberg and how the draft Official Plan will affect the character of the historic village.
The draft Official Plan (draft OP) recognises the core area of Schomberg, extending along Main Street from Dr. Kay Drive at the north end to the river at the curve at the south end. Casual observation on this stretch of Main Street shows a mixture of uses including single family residential, apartments, stores, bars and restaurants. In the draft OP this area is designated mixed use which includes both commercial and residential uses. On the surface this seems appropriate until you look at the list of permitted uses. The list does not include single family residential uses.
There are 33 existing single family homes along this reach. Many have been recognised on the Township of King inventory as properties of heritage value. In addition, many of the newer homes have been built in a heritage style complimenting the heritage character. If the draft OP is approved in the current form, all these homes will be deemed to be a legal non-conforming use (especially if this is re-enforced in an implementing zoning bylaw). There will be pressure to either convert or redevelop the homes to apartment buildings or to commercial uses.
I believe that the village core should support opportunities for commercial uses and higher density residential use but not at the risk of losing the heritage character of the street and the existing single family residential housing. The existing housing helps to define the Main Street character. In addition, many of the existing homes are smaller which supports the objectives of complete communities (ie: range of housing types, walking distance to services).
In order to protect the character of Main Street, maintain a range of housing types and keep our community walkable, I think the existing homes need to be recognised in the draft OP and the implementing zoning needs to reflect a single family residential use.