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A survey taken of Cobourg and area residents as part of Cobourg’s Downtown Vitalization plan suggested that 80% of residents surveyed wanted “to improve the poor appearance of building exteriors, back lanes and parking lots”.  To address this, a Downtown Community Improvement Plan (CIP) was included in the Downtown Master Plan (DMP) and approved by Council on March 21, 2016.  But on October 18, 2016, the Planning & Sustainability Advisory Committee (PSAC) expressed the need for accountability and policies.  In response to this, Glenn McGlashon, Director of Planning and Development has written a report to be presented to Council at their COW meeting on December 5th.

What is CIP?

The Community Improvement Plan is a “comprehensive tool kit of financial incentive programs” which provide grants and/or loans.

There are eight separate programs:

  1. Study Grant Program – costs for urban design study, heritage impact assessment, feasibility study and/or architectural/engineering studies and drawings;
  2. Façade Improvement Grant/Loan Program – costs for eligible façade and storefront improvement/restoration works;
  3. Building Improvement Grant/Loan Program – costs associated with eligible building improvement/restoration works;
  4. Residential Grant/Loan Program – costs associated with the creation/rehabilitation of residential space;
  5. Vitalization Tax Increment Grant Program – offsets any significant increase in municipal assessment and property taxes derived from a project(s);
  6. Brownfields Tax Assistance Program – cancellation of property taxes during rehabilitation and redevelopment periods on eligible brownfield properties;
  7. Vitalization Development Charge Grant Program – reduces or cancels development charges for eligible large-scale residential, commercial and mixed use vitalization projects; and,
  8. Fees Grant Program – application fees reduced or waived on specified development applications and permits for the renovation, rehabilitation and/or redevelopment of existing buildings.

CIP Status and Progress

The budget for 2016 for CIP was $50,000 and the amounts approved to date are grants of $54,696  and secured repayable loans of $51,886.  It is expected that a similar (or probably larger) amount will be approved for the 2017 budget.

Glenn provided a table showing the status of all projects to date.

# Project Project Type Funding Status
1 Sharpe – 4-6-8 King St W Building Improvement – replacement of cedar shake shingles on roof Grant - $12,336.00
Loan - $12,336.00
Work complete
2 Trozollo – 37 King St W Façade Improvement – rehabilitation, replacement and restoration of storefront facade Grant - $12,500.00
Loan - $12,500.00
Heritage Permit issued – work has commenced
3 Molen – 80 King St W Residential Improvement – renovation of upper floors into 1 residential unit Grant - $15,000.00
Loan - $7,800.00
Work pending
4 Ferreri – 10-14 King St W Façade Improvement – rehabilitation, replacement and restoration of storefront facade Grant - $12,500.00
Loan - $19,250.00
Heritage Permit issued – work to commence in Spring, 2017
5 Wright/NSCC #39 – 19-21 King St W Façade Improvement – restoration of storefront façade, painting, signage and lighting Grant - $2,360.13 Heritage Permit issued -- work complete – [see photos below]


Summarizing, Glenn reports that the two completed projects “have made a noticeable difference on the individual facades of the buildings and on the streetscape in general. In both cases, not only is there a long term benefit resulting from the rehabilitation of worn and deteriorating building materials (which maintains and enhances the existing building stock), but there is also the added value of creating a pleasant, aesthetically-pleasing environment for businesses to flourish.”  He comments that:

Community improvement is contagious and the ongoing implementation of the Downtown Cobourg Vitalization CIP is expected to stimulate additional improvement projects in the downtown area over time, thus building a momentum that could have a positive impact on the long term viability and appearance of the downtown.

He also reports that:

… the Downtown Coalition Advisory Committee (DCAC) is actively involved in establishing selection criteria and a scoring mechanism for prospective Downtown Cobourg Vitalization CIP applications, as well as developing a CIP program evaluation monitoring system aimed at measuring the outcomes or results of projects that are funded by the Downtown Cobourg Vitalization CIP.

In addition, rather than deal with applications on a “first-come, first-serve” basis as it was being implemented as a trial program for part of 2016, the DCAC is considering a competitive process for 2017 using two intake periods for accepting CIP applications (ie. early Spring and late Summer).

Expect more reports on this subject early 2017.

Council’s intent is to continue with CIP in 2017 and if not successful, the CIVI plan would be considered;  If CIP is successful, CIVI will be dropped Download Glenn’s full report here

19 21 King before 19 21 King after19 to 21 King Street - after (before is at left)


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