Council members unanimously approved a motion to rezone 2.97 acres of privately-owned land from conservation to medium-density residential and make hotels a permitted use under that zoning at council's discretion.
"This will now be sent off to Municipal Affairs, who will peruse the application, noting the concerns that they may possibly have, and they'll also send it to different branches of (government) departments," Coun. David Kennedy, chair of the town's planning and development committee, said following the vote.
If the provincial government signs off on the proposed change to the municipal plan, it will come back to council for further review. The public would also have another chance to provide feedback to council.
The town hosted a public meeting last month. There, developers James Bailie and Janet Whittle-Bailie shared their vision for the 50-room luxury boutique hotel, billed as Hotelle @ Crockers Cove. The three-level building would have a footprint of approximately 50,000 square feet and include a restaurant, espresso bar, lobby bar, conference centre and art gallery.
The couple also expressed a desire to leave much of the conservation area untouched and make it part of the hotel experience.
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Some residents shared concerns with the town about increased traffic resulting from the hotel and the location's suitability, while others said it could boost the town's economy. The hotel would employ 45-50 people.
The developers hope to start construction next spring and open in 2020.