Sarnia council considering animal shelter expansion, high-rise applications virtually

Sarnia Humane Society (BlackburnNews.com File Photo by Briana Carnegie)

For the first time since the pandemic started, Sarnia council will attempt to host two public meetings Monday.

A rezoning application for an expansion at the Sarnia and District Humane Society on Exmouth Street and an official plan amendment for a residential high-rise off London Road will be discussed.

Council and staff have met virtually during the lockdown to discuss critical issues, but Mayor Mike Bradley said this is the first time members of the public will be invited into the discussion.

“I think it’s the right direction for council, it’s going to be a challenge to have a public input meeting without the public being in the building and that is going to be a challenge for myself as chair,” said Bradley. “However, I think it’s worth doing because we need to keep having developments move forward.”

London Road Shopping Centre Renderings. (Photo from Sarnia Councillor Bill Dennis from facebook)

London Road Shopping Centre Renderings. 

Elison Developments wants to construct an 11-storey high-rise with 133 rental units at the southeast corner of the London Road Shopping Centre.

The humane society is planning an expansion to include indoor/outdoor kennels, a grooming salon and veterinary clinic.

“The development of the former Zellers plaza, where Tepperman’s is, is a significant development and putting residential units into that area. The humane society also has an application in to move forward and expand their services. So it will be different, but the public can still have their input, it will just be done in a different manner.”

Bradley said notices of the public meetings were published in advance and those planning to speak to the issues were asked to notify the city clerk earlier this week.

“It’s not the traditional public meeting,” he said. “But, we’re trying to get the message across to the community, and council is, is that the community is still moving forward. We have a new development going on the former Devine Street School property, the Bayside Mall deal is moving forward and I expect to see news on that in the next week or so. So, we want to keep doing as much as we can, but also we’re trying, on the basic council agenda, to stick to COVID-related issues like cutting costs and offering services.”

Monday’s virtual meeting starts at 10 a.m.