A former church on Prete Street is going to be converted into a medical office after the proposal received support from the city's planning committee Monday.
Formerly home to All Nation's Church (which has moved to a new building) and a day care, the renovated facility will become home to medical specialists and other professional businesses, although the daycare centre has already moved.
Glen Ferguson, a senior planner with the city, said the area covers 0.52 hectares and with the new uses, there would be a minor impact on traffic, meaning there is no need for road improvements.
Architect Tim James said the developer envisions housing six or seven medical specialists — for example skin and allergy specialists — rather than general practice.
“The intent is not to provide a walk-in clinic,” James said. “And it's the intent of the application to make the area greener and more functional ... The building is an aging building. We're looking to enhance that.”
More landscaping — shrubs, trees, greenery in general — is planned. During the public meeting, neighbours said they hate the dust kicked up by the gravel parking lot, James said, which is why they proposed paving. But in light of staff concerns about drainage, they're willing to look at using water permeable material.
“We want to provide a greener and softer curbside image.”
Harvey Prudhomme, a resident in the area opposed to the plan, said the church itself was built in 1967, at a time when there were few planning rules in the city. He doubted that it would be approved today.
“Prete Street is totally residential,” Prudhomme said. “It's a dead end street with one of the steepest hills in Sudbury. Most seniors have trouble climbing that hill.”
He said it's a narrow street without sidewalks far from transit routes, arguing it's a bad fit for the neighbourhood.
But in approving the rezoning, committee members said there are transit stops on nearby Regent Street, and the proposal is good for the city because it will have minimal impact on neighbours and sees and existing building renovated and brought back into use.