The former livestock sale barn property on Pendleton Street in Vankleek Hill could soon become a new residential area.

On February 12, Champlain Township gave first and second reading to a by-law which will change the official plan and zoning on the property at 114 Pendleton Street from “commercial village” to “residential.”  The zoning and official plan amendment will make it possible to construct an unspecified number of single-family dwellings at the location.

No comments or objections were received by the township.

Township council gave first and second reading on February 12 to a zoning by-law amendment that would change the two-acre property at 52 Wharf Street in L’Orignal from “commercial core special exception zone” to “commercial core general zone.”  The change would allow a number of commercial uses, including a restaurant, to operate at the location.

The property is home to the historic Riverest estate, which was built in 1833.  The house was given designation as a heritage property under the Ontario Heritage Act by the former Village of L’Orignal council in 1984.  Senior Planner Jennifer Laforest said that there is no list of the home’s defining features that indicate why it qualifies as a listed heritage property.

As a result of the lack of information, council also approved a resolution directing Laforest to update the township’s heritage designation by-law.

Free space for fundraising

Council approved a request from the Vankleek Hill Junior C Cougars Hockey Club to use the upper level of the community center free of charge twice a year for its year-end banquet and an additional fundraising event.  Council also approved the request for the Cougars to use the baseball field in L’Orignal free of charge for the club’s annual three-pitch tournament.

Cougars General Manager and co-owner Marc Berniqué said the free use of the facilities will allow the team to hold its fundraising events.

Berniqué, with partners Greg McEachern and Franky Dopelhamer purchased the team at the beginning of 2019.

“We wanted to keep the team there,” Berniqué said to council.

Councillor Peter Barton encouraged council to grant the request and mentioned the team’s volunteer contribution in the community and how it is a major user of ice time at the Vankleek Hill Arena.

Parade policy

Council approved the street closures along the route of the 2020 Wee Irish Fest Parade, which will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.  The parade will begin at the community centre and follow Wall, Union, and Main Streets before terminating in Kirk Lane.

The parade is one of several community festivals presented by Excellent Events.  Chief Administrative Officer Paula Knudsen said all Excellent Events productions were previously given designation as official community events.  She recently met with Excellent Events Coordinator Samme Putzel to discuss a way to maintain events while mitigating exposure to the township’s accident liability.  Knudsen said that the Wee Irish Fest is considered small enough to not be of great concern regarding liability issues.