Essex to Look at Zoning Change for Colchester Centre

Essex Mayor Larry Snively wants to see parts of Colchester Centre rezoned for commercial use.

Snively tells AM800 News a section of County Rd. 50 between Dunn Rd. and Jackson St. is currently zoned for residential use, but it's an ideal area to serve a growing tourism market in the region.

Council unanimously agreed it would be a smart move with a thriving new park near Colchester's beaches and harbour.

"Something like, on a real small scale, like Niagara on the Lake with the gift shops and little eateries and stuff like that all along there," says Snively, who credits residents with inspiring the move. "If you go down there on weekends the park is just jammed full. We do have a parking problem down there right now, which I hate to say is a good thing, but it shows we're attracting people out there."

Snively says he doesn't want to mess with the small town charm in the heart of Colchester.

"We're probably going to have to do it in little sections, like Jackson St. and County Rd. 50, right in that one little block area there. If we could get started there with three or four businesses and then expand east and west from there," he added.

Commercial properties are taxed more, so Snively also wants to assure residential homes can still be mixed in with those properties if the zoning is changed. He hopes administration can come-up with a plan that will allow that flexibility.

The topic will be brought forward for a formal discussion at the next council meeting on April 15.