South Stormont shoehorns apartment building next to Long Sault century home

South Stormont council has agreed to the development of an apartment building on this lot on Moulinette Road, seen here on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, next to one of the oldest homes since the creation of the village. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

LONG SAULT – While giving some limited protection to a historically significant home in Long Sault, township council has agreed to an apartment building being built right next door.

The property at 23 Moulinette Road (the land is between Moulinette Road and Manning Road to the west) has been the subject of an extensive public review and the developer has revised their plan a number of times.

Council agreed during an April meeting to sever the lot and allow the developer – M. Emard Properties Inc. of Cornwall – to build a six unit, two-and-a-half storey apartment building next to the 142-year-old stone home, which is the “oldest stone home existing prior to the construction of the village.”

The apartment building is getting a number of special exceptions because it won’t meet many of minimum setbacks required on a building lot.

“I do believe there’s a need to provide affordable housing options in our community, especially for seniors on a fixed income,” Coun. Andrew Guindon said during the April meeting.

But Guindon asked for and got some controls put in place, called a development holding zone. The developer will have to submit a site plan that moves the apartments more to the south side of the lot, keeping it a minimum of 10 meters (32 feet) away from the century home to protect its “charm.” The original plan had a minimum of 6 meters (19 feet).

This historic home at 23 Moulinette Road has been added to the municipality’s heritage register, meaning it will receive some limited protection should someone want to tear it down. Coun. Andrew Guindon proposed the designation in order to allow an apartment building to be built right next to the circa 1878 home. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

The developer will also have to do replacement planting of butternut trees and the building can be no more than 15 per cent of the entire lot size.

During its May 27 meeting, council agreed to put the circa 1878 home on a heritage register – the first one for the municipality. An application to tear down the building would require council approval.

The register isn’t the same as an Ontario Heritage Act designation, which protects a home. In this case, the register extends Ontario Building Code timelines to 60 days should there be an application to tear down the building, instead of the normal five or 10 days.

“I had many residents, when we were going through the zoning exercise, express how significant this building was for them and for the community so I’m glad we’re taking this step at this time,” Coun. Andrew Guindon said.

The site plan for the apartment building still has to come to council.