Re-zoning approval for rooming house on Queen

city hall

A two-storey building at 26 Queen Street has received re-zoning approval from council to be converted to a rooming house.

The building is located on the northside of Queen, about 70 metres from the intersection of Queen and Gore Streets.

The applicant, Mehdi Arfaei, purchased the building two years ago.

He plans to build 13 bedrooms and five shared bathrooms across both floors of the two-story building, with eight parking spaces at the rear. Vehicles could access parking via a laneway of Albert Street E.

City Planning Director Peter Tonazzo recommended council approve the rezoning app.

“Staff is of the opinion that rooming houses are an important part of the overall housing supply spectrum,” said Tonazzo. “The inclusion of a vestibule or foyer directly adjacent to Queen Street will alleviate aesthetic concerns as it relates to the overall commercial character of the storefronts on Queen.”

Ward 2 Councillor Luke Dufour said he’s all for increasing the density downtown but added he continues to have concern over the lack of property management with rooming houses in the past. Dufour said enforcing by-laws pertaining to standards remains difficult and that the province needs to take proper steps to close some of the gaps in enforcement.

Dufour approved the rezoning plan with reservations.

Arfaei said he is considering having someone “in-house” to address problems and issues.

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