MINTO – Town council has approved a site plan control agreement for a 99-bed addition to long-term care (LTC) facilities at the Royal Terrace in Palmerston.
The agreement was approved by Minto council on Aug. 8.
A report from director of building and planning Terry Kuipers indicates that, upon completion of the addition, the expanded facility at 600 Whites Road in Palmerston will provide a total of 99 LTC beds and 80 retirement home beds.
The facility currently houses 67 LTC care beds and 50 retirement home beds.
The report notes Royal Terrace owner Kash Ramchandani estimates the expansion will create need for an additional 50 employees at the facility.
Provincial approval was granted for 29 additional LTC beds at the facility in March of 2019.
In an email to the Advertiser, Kuipers explained that 99-bed LTC figure also includes three palliative care beds, in addition to the LTC beds. The report states the entire existing facility will be converted a retirement home. All 99 LTC/palliative beds will all be housed in the new addition.
“This project is kind of a long time coming. We’ve been working with the owner and their professionals for about two years now,” Kuipers told council.
“The reason for the delay was not on behalf of the owner or the town … there was a funding gap from when they initially applied for the funding to the actual COVID construction numbers, which had a large gap in what was affordable at that time.”
The application drawings also include a future street/cluster townhouse development for seniors on the site.
However the report notes the townhouse development “has only been shown as conceptual,” and is not included in the current approval.
The proposed addition on the 7.56 acre (3.06 hectare) property will be a single-storey structure just under 70,000 square feet (6478.52 m²), with the total size of the building being just under 108,000 square feet (10,023.91 m²).
The addition will be a non-combustible brick structure and will include a sprinkler system.
“As with the existing building, the owner is proposing to construct the addition above the minimum, institutional-style construction type, making it a comfortable and enjoyable accommodations for the residents,” the report states.
Associated with the proposed addition, the facility owner is proposing to completely pave the entire parking area, install subsurface infiltration chambers for its storm water management system and add an additional fire hydrant and an enhanced fire department access route.
The site plan agreement also calls for an additional 66 parking spaces, bringing the on-site total to 122 spaces (nearly three times the total required by the town’s zoning bylaw) and 10 new bicycle spaces.
The approval of the site plan control application and entering into the site plan approval agreement are the last steps required prior to the issuance of the building permit, which has been applied for and reviewed.
“Council will recall that Bill 109 also amended the Development Charges Act, freezing the development charge rate for a two-year period from the application date of rezoning and site plan approval application,” the report states.
“The owner and applicant are aware the development charges are frozen at the 2021 rate, so the owner needs to obtain their building permit by Sept. 30 or the rates will revert to the current rates, meaning an increase of $184,608, plus any applicable interest.”
“There’s a bit of a hurry up here, correct?” asked Mayor Dave Turton.
“Not on my part, but being that the owner would have to cut that bigger check, I would assume so from that end,” Kuipers replied.
He pointed out the province’s passage of Bill 109 in April of 2022 had a significant financial impact on the town from a development charges perspective, which is effectively illustrated by a project of this scale.
“So although the same projects are on the books  to currently, the anticipated cost for those projects, based on the square footage that this one’s contributing, went up $126,000 from that point,” he stated.
“So essentially, when we [factor] in those costs, we’re going to have to come up with $126,000 that these DCs didn’t contribute, which, as you all know, is about a two per cent tax increase.
“So that’s the implication that Bill 109 has on us.”
Kuipers added, “The other thing I’d like to mention is that Bill 109 also delegated the authority to approve site plan approval applications to myself.
“But, being this predates the parameters in Bill 109, it actually bumps back to you guys.”
Under the terms of the site plan control agreement, the town will recover $184,340 in costs incurred related to the development during the 2022 reconstruction of Whites Road.
The Town of Minto and the County of Wellington accelerated the reconstruction of Whites Road and underlying infrastructure to support the Royal Terrace expansion, as the infrastructure was undersized to support the proposed addition, the report notes.
Councillor Ed Podniewicz asked if the proposed future townhouse development would be aimed at “independent seniors.”
“What the owners plan with this entire facility would be that independent persons can live in the street or cluster townhouses …” Kuipers replied.
“Once those persons need additional assistance, then they could transition to the retirement home side and, if they needed additional assistance beyond that, transition to the long-term care.
“So it’s kind of a three-step process all in one development.”