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It looks like green light for Costco

City planning staff are recommending city council approve a new commercial development in the west end that includes a Costco membership warehouse big box store.
Council will be asked to approve rezoning of a large vacant site on the city’s western edge, north of Paisley Road and west of Elmira Road, for a two-phase development. It’s part of the agenda for council’s monthly planning meeting on Monday Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.
The big Costco, along with a gas bar for vehicles, would be built first on the northern section of the site. Several smaller buildings for a variety of potential retail and service uses are to follow at an undetermined future time in the southern part of the 32-acre site.
The Costco outlet will be the only big box store built on the site owned by Armel Corp., because the city’s limit on retail space to be allowed there doesn’t leave room for another big box store, says a new report by city planning staff.
The report addresses potential traffic issues raised by area residents about additional traffic being created on Whitelaw Road, a two-lane road connecting both with Highway 24 and with the proposed development.
There will likely be an additional 30 vehicles per hour in the afternoon in both directions on Whitelaw as a result of the new development on the Armel site, the report says. It says Whitelaw can handle the extra traffic without any changes.
Traffic and safety issues on Whitelaw will be monitored after the development is built “to identify potential traffic calming measures,” it says.
The report addresses concerns about the new development raised in June by Silvercreek Guelph Developments Ltd., which plans to build on the former Lafarge quarry site and had once hoped to lure Costco to its site. The Silvercreek firm said it was concerned that Armel’s big-box plans for its site could “duplicate” the plans for a mixed-use node at its site just east of the Hanlon Expressway, south of Paisley Road.
The report says the development on the Armel site will meet the city’s Official Plan policies.
“In order to ensure these policies are met, zoning regulations have been included to limit the size of both the large-format retail portion of the site and the portion of the site meant for a variety of smaller retail and service uses,” it says.

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