Elora Mill eyeing six building expansion along the Grand River

Rendering of the proposed development of the Elora Mill. (Supplied by Pearle Hospitality)

The owners of the Elora Mill are planning an expansion which could see six more mixed-use buildings added to the south side of the Grand River.

Pearle Hospitality, which owns the hotel and spa, is asking council for a zoning amendment to the property purchased by the developer in 2012.

"The zoning has to reflect the mix of uses to reflect that property," said Kelly Linton, Mayor of the Township of Centre Wellington.

Linton said the proposal would see condominiums, a hotel building and some retail space.

"The application being brought forward is for minor allowances to address changes in the already approved Elora Mill master plan from 2012," a spokesperson for Pearle Hospitality said in an email. "The Elora Mill has already obtained the necessary planning approvals to construct the hotel, condominium, retail stores, and restaurant space that is being proposed."

The statement continued: "The Elora Mill Master Plan for the south site was approved as a mixed-use community by Township Council in 2013. This includes the hotel, retail commercial buildings, and residential units shown on the project rendering. The main purpose of the current application is to permit the addition of one storey of height to the already approved buildings."

Pearle Hospitality said it is proposing the additional storey to help with the housing demand in Centre Wellington.

"With the hundreds of new jobs that have been created and with many more to come, we are trying to address the housing that will be required," the company said. "While we continue with the planning approvals, we are working on restoring our heritage assets and improving the infrastructure to service the expansion."

But the proposal has drawn mixed reaction from residents. Some locals expressed concerns over traffic or the community's quaint image, while others support the growth and potential to boost tourism.

"I was quite shocked at the size of it, it's monstrous," said Elora resident Renate Karger, who has lived in the community for 28 years.

Mayor Linton says while he hears residents' concerns, he thinks the expansion will benefit the township.

"(I) trust Pearle Hospitality and the Mill based on what they've done today in Elora," he said.

A public consultation meeting will be held at the end of June.