• Rob Hornberger

Kingsville council approves new office building for Division North

Peralta Engineering maintains presence in downtown

An artist's rendering shows the new N.J. Peralta Engineering building on Division Street North. Council approved a zoning amendment for the project.

KINGSVILLE — Town council has approved a zoning amendment that will allow a local engineering company to build a new office on the east side of Division Street North.

N. J. Peralta Engineering Ltd. is currently located at 45 Division St. N. and was seeking to have an adjoining property to the north zoned commercial so it could build a two storey, 5,952-square-foot office building on the two sites.

“This helps … grow within our primary settlement area,” town planner Robert Brown said in a report to council.

“It maintains an existing business in our downtown core which is very important in the support of that downtown core. The use of the property itself in not changing.”

Brown noted there are plans to sell the house at 45 Division St. N. and move it to another location on Main Street. He said the house to the north is vacant and will be torn down.

The planner said small towns like Kingsville do not have an abundance of commercially zoned space and must “adapt and make changes” to find the necessary land close to the downtown business district.

Peralta Engineering plans to sell the building housing its offices and move it to another site on Main Street. The white building to the north will be demolished.

“This isn’t a significant land assembly for redevelopment. It’s supporting an existing use,” Brown said.

He said the setback from the home to the north of 49 Division N. will be reduced t o 15 feet from 20 feet and that the site plan change was “acceptable” to the homeowner.

Only Deputy Mayor Gord Queen voted against the zoning amendment, saying he regretted the loss of land zoned for residential use.

The rest of council voted in favour of the zoning changes.

“I see this as a good opportunity for this business to expand,” said Coun. Larry Patterson. “We’re looking at those employees who work there probably coming down to our downtown area to do their … shopping (and) have lunch.

“The other thing I’m afraid of is if we vote this down, we have other municipalities sitting there at the borderline with arms wide open for local business saying, ‘See you later, Kingsville.’”

Jackie Lassaline, a spokeswoman for Peralta Engineering, said the firm looked at other locations in town but never found anything suitable.

“Their present facility is … way too small. They’ve grown out of it,” she said. “They need something larger. But there was nothing presently existing in the town of Kingsville that suited their needs and their desire to stay in the town.... This was their best solution.”

Brown said there were concerns from some residents the Peralta plans would set a precedent and hamper council’s ability to turn down future commercial rezoning requests.

“I have never been a strong believer in precedence because I believe it’s very difficult to find an identical situation,” he said.

“If a similar proposal were to be presented to us in the future it would undergo the same review process. It does not mean the same conclusion would be reached.”

The former Annabelle's restaurant on Main Street is being transformed into a British-style pub. The Windsor owner was granted a site plan amendment allowing for an enclosed patio at the front.

School, Queens Auto, future pub get approvals

The town issued several site plan amendments Monday — one to allow the construction of the new high school to proceed, another to allow a Main Street business to move to new space on Division Street North and a third to allow a future British-style pub on Main Street to build an enclosed patio.

The approval for the high school rubber stamps what has already announced by the Greater Essex County District School Board in terms of location, the size of the school — 138,000 square feet — and the various provisions for parking and bus drop off zones.

The school will be constructed off an extension to Jasperson Drive and take 18 months to build.

The town also approved a site plan amendment that will allow Queens Auto Supply to move to a new location just south of the Kingsville municipal building. The site plan allows a two-storey, 6,000-square-foot building to be constructed on the site.

The final amendment will permit an enclosed patio to be built in front of the former Annabelle’s restaurant. The Windsor owner — who is currently renovating the building — plans to open a British-style pub.

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