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Councillor's motion to reconsider Roseland development can’t be brought forward: city clerk

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A motion put forward by one city councillor to reconsider the city's plan to see a luxury condo be built the Roseland Golf and Curling Club property cannot be presented, according to the city's clerk.

More than two dozen people showed up to city council chambers Monday to hear Ward 1 councillor Fred Francis forward their concerns to city administration.

During an in-camera meeting on Feb. 12, a majority of councillors voted to designate the Roseland clubhouse and parking lot on 455 Kennedy Dr. as fit for residential development.

On March 1, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens presented plans for a 38-unit luxury condo building on the property.This concept includes the potential of 38 one and two bedroom(s) units, including balcony, a green roof, underground parking, tiered levels, glass railings, and sports courts at the Roseland site in Windsor, Ont. (Source: City of Windsor)

According to Francis, residents opposing the development have identified "a gap in our process" by moving ahead with development plans without first consulting with the public.

"What I'm getting from the residents is that no one is asking if we want this or not. They're saying, 'This is what's happening. Tell us how we can improve it or not.' They're telling me that's not real public consultation," said Francis.

Francis presented a "reconsideration motion" so residents could delegate the issue at a future city council meeting.

However, city clerk Steve Vlachodimos said that could not be done because Francis had previously voted against the development during the Feb. 12 in-camera meeting.

According to Jelena Payne, Windsor's commissioner of economic development, the city wants to move ahead with an expression of interest (EOI) process to "narrow the scope" of design plans before a developer is identified.

"There is an obligation for them to then consult and tweak their proposal with the public," said Payne, adding there are a number of "touch points" with the public as the city undertakes its planning process.

"Going out initially, without a rendering, without any vision, and just saying to the public, 'What do you want to see?' — and we experienced that in the past with the Windsor Arena. We got everything from aquariums to petting zoos to all kinds of ideas out there."

Francis pushed back, saying council should have engaged with the public prior to any decisions surrounding development being made. Not doing so, he added, falls to respect and protect the community integrity of the neighborhood.

That comment drew applause from the audience.

When asked whether or not residents will have any more opportunities to express their disagreement with the Roseland development, Payne referred to a March 7 open house (where residents could view the city's conceptual drawings for the site and) and a feedback survey that the city previously issued.

Ray Mensour, city commissioner of community service, said the results of the public survey will come back to council as part of a report about the EOI “sometime later this summer.”

According to both Payne and Windsor’s chief administrative officer Joe Mancina, conversations have not taken place with any specific developer regarding the Roseland site.

City administration has committed to notify individuals who signed an attendance sheet at the March 7 open house about when this matter returns to council.

No date has been set for the EOI process to take place.

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