Proposal in works to convert former Maple Leaf school site in multi-use residential building

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TRURO – The site of the former Maple Leaf elementary school in Salmon River is being proposed for development as a 21-unit multi-use residential building.

A proposal has been accepted in principle by Colchester County council for a purchase offer by Meech Holdings Ltd., of Truro for the former Maple Leaf elementary school in Salmon River. The site is expected to be converted into a 21-unit residential building. HARRY SULLIVAN – TRURO DAILY NEWS

That is the plan put forth by Meech Holdings Ltd., of Truro, to Colchester County council in its bid to purchase the property.

“I think the Meech proposal is a good one,” Coun. Mike Cooper said, in introducing a motion to accept a purchase price of $55,000 for the property.

From an economical perspective, the Meech offer “is the right way to go,” he said, because developer Ron Meech does good work and it is a “sound proposal,” Cooper said.

The other two offers included a $52,500 bid from Benchmark Developments Ltd., to purchase the site for the purpose of building a duplex and a $30,000 offer from area resident Ellery Deuville for the purpose of converting the former school into an early childhood development centre.

Although area Coun. Lloyd Gibbs argued in favour of Deuville’s bid, municipal solicitor Dennis James told council that a zoning change would be required for that proposal. That process could take at least a couple of months with no guarantee that the effort would be successful.

“It creates an uncertainty in the process,” James said of Deuville’s offer. “If he can’t achieve that (his intended purpose) then you can’t enter into an agreement.”

If that happened, council would be back to square one with a new request for proposals.

Council also heard that under the Meech proposal, which is expected to cost $1.8 million, the revenue to be generated from the site over the next four to five years would be in the range of $100,000.

Under the Benchmark proposal, the expected revenue would be about $61,000 for the same period while the Deuville proposal would have generated approximately $45,000.

The former Maple Leaf school on Maple Lane was last used as a site for adult school services, but it has been vacant since 2009 when those classes were transferred to the former Princess Margaret Rose school on Willow Street.

The school was declared surplus by the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board in 2012 after which it became municipal property under county ownership.

hsullivan@trurodaily.com

Twitter:@tdnharry

Organizations: Meech Holdings, Maple Leaf school, Benchmark Developments Colchester County council Princess Margaret Rose school Central Regional School Board

Geographic location: Truro, Maple Lane, Willow Street Chignecto

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Recent comments

  • Krista # 2
    May 25, 2014 - 21:52

    I too don't understand why a 21 unit building would not require rezoning when it is currently zoned as Institutional.

  • Krista
    May 24, 2014 - 20:35

    I second both of the previous comments. This will be going in our backyard which will affect the lives of my family and neighbours a great deal, we would be deeply disappointed to see a 21 unit apartment building go in there , a daycare would be much better to see.

  • Dawn
    May 23, 2014 - 11:03

    I find it odd that a zoning change is required from the building going from being a school/adult education to being a daycare (which is basically toddler education) and there wouldn't be a change in zoning for a multi-unit residential property? This will drastically change the amount of traffic flow in the area for the residents of Maple Lane that have been used to a very quiet setting. Yes when the school was operational there was traffic and noise etc but that was from 9:00-3:00 Mon-Fri Sept-June --- with an apartment building the increase in traffic will not be limited to certain hours, etc. Yes a daycare would also generate additional traffic but these hours would be through the day and on weekdays..... Just curious as to how many of these new apartment building are actually necessary -- does anyione look at current occupancy rates, etc.

  • Ken
    May 23, 2014 - 10:04

    I for one, do not like the idea of having a 21-unit building, or a duplex, in my back yard. It would be nice if the County would ask the surrounding residents how they felt and/or thought of the proposal. I would be more inclined to be in favor of the Deuville proposal, as a child-care facility so close to the Harmony Heights school makes more sense.