The site plan for the new Comfort Inn in Kemptville was presented to council at the meeting on June 16. The hotel, which has been in the works for some time, is planned for 320 Ryan’s Well Drive, right across the street from the Canadian Tire in the Colonnade retail centre. The lot is currently empty, with no mature vegetation, so there will be no need to clear the area for construction. The four-story hotel will have 74 suites and a meeting room for up to 55 people. There will be 87 parking spots, with three accessible units, and a bike rack for cyclists. The site plan also includes 1.8m of sidewalk along Ryan’s Well Drive.
Council was unanimous in saying that the Comfort Inn will be a great addition to the community. However, concern was expressed about pedestrian and cyclist safety in the centre. “It’s not safe right now,” Mayor Nancy Peckford said. “It seems imperative that there would need to be some safety provisions.”
Director of Public Works, Karen Dunlop, said that connectivity in Colonnade is something that they continue to discuss. They are looking at making it safer for pedestrians and cyclists through controlled intersections, crosswalks, sidewalks, and even a PXO system. Karen also noted that the County is also looking at putting lights at Ryan’s Well Drive and County Road 19, but is waiting until the number of cars at the intersection meet a certain threshold before investing in traffic signals. “We will see if a hotel will bring it up to that trigger point,” Karen said.
Council also agreed that safe access to the Rail Trail and Old Town Kemptville from the new hotel is extremely important, especially if Comfort Inn is planning on advertising themselves as a bike friendly destination. “We would really want to promote access to Old Town Kemptville, the Rail Trail and Waterfront Trail,” Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan said. “It’s definitely a priority.”
North Grenville Planner, David Nanton, said they will be bringing all of council’s comments back to the applicant to fine tune the site plan. There is still lots of time for changes, as construction is not projected to start until late Fall 2021. “We will leave it up to staff to see if they can find some creative solutions,” Mayor Nancy Peckford said.