Parry Sound staff and council has been good enough to provide additional information concerning the recently approved ‘Age in Place’ development, also referred to in some documents as a retirement residence. After taking some time to review these redacted documents, which were part of the closed session council package, I’m pleased with the work done by staff in support of their recommendation to approve the York Health Care Developments proposal. (A redacted document in one that makes certain, usually limited, confidential information illegible to the reader. This is a pretty common practice and really is not an issue here. In this case the redacted portions of the documents largely relate to a second proposal that was not accepted by the town, and for which the party making the proposal requested confidentiality.)

The information contained in the documents is consistent with the general outline of the project as has previously been made available to the public in a press release and traditional media interviews. There are some additional points contained in the documents that are worth noting.

There may be additional construction beyond the planned 60 to 80 residences. Apparently the rezoning application only applies to about half the property, which will be used for the proposed four-floor residence. There is the potential to rezone and build additional living spaces on the remaining property.

The town has thought through the issues that were an issue with the last major development at the south end of town. In particular staff has identified additional costs and services that will, or may, be required and has made a statement concerning who will be responsible for those costs. This should mean fewer surprises.

There is information on how the selling price of $250,000 was recommended to council. I’m glad to understand the logic behind the recommendation. It makes sense. It’s also nice to see that staff has identified the requirement for a property ‘reacquisition’ clause in the final contract in case the development does not proceed as proposed.

One final thought after reading the released information. In addition to providing as many as 40 area jobs, full-time and part-time to operate the facility, and the construction jobs (there is a statement that local contractors are preferred), the residence could provide an estimated $100,000 per year in tax revenue. Not mentioned but another consideration is that this complex will help offset water and waste water infrastructure costs as part of their monthly ‘water bill’. The existing system should be able to easily accommodate the added load without any significant investment in capital or operating expenses.

Like council, with this additional information, I’m bullish on the proposal. It looks as though staff has done a great job of identifying the key issues and addressing them upfront. I’m glad they shared their thinking about the proposal. There will be more issues I’m sure, but that’s always the case. You just don’t want to be dealing in the future with issues that should have been addressed right from the start.

The redacted documents are available to the public. You should read them to understand all of the issues involved and the many facts and figures of the project. I’m sure you can ask for them from the town directly, or you can save yourself and the town a little extra work by downloading them through the links below.

Redacted Staff Report and Recommendation
Redacted Summary of Proposals
Property Rezoning Announcement
York Health Care Developments Proposal
York Health Care Development Proposal Appendices

Let’s keep doors closed and communications open.Parry Sound Town Hall