A bid to allow conversion of three apartment buildings in Belleville to condominiums, without a full review, has not won support from the city’s Planning Committee.
A resident of one of the buildings, Parkwood Apartments on Bridge Street East, told the committee Monday night she sold her home to become a tenant, not the owner of a condominium.
Standing at the podium in the council chambers, Bev Spence said “Shame on all of you if you vote for this conversion.”
Spence questioned, “Why change a good thing for corporate greed?” She said the company had only given tenants two business days of notice, “very little time to seek advice.” She pointed out, “The exemption was only to be considered if the vacancy rate was more than 3%, but it is now 2.5%.”
Realstar Management is seeking the conversion, without review, for two 12-unit buildings on Moira Street East, as well as the 68-unit Parkwood.
Consultant Spencer Hutchison told the committee the owner does not want to sell, there will still be rental units, and “tenants will have the first right of refusal.”
Hutchison said, “My instruction from the owner is they will pursue (the issue). They will go to LAPA.” ( Local Planning Appeal Tribunal which replaced the Ontario Municipal Board.)
Councillor Jack Miller told the committee he was concerned that the issue was “snowballing, getting smaller buildings exemptions from review.”
The Planning Committee voted to deny the request for exemption from review, for all three.