By: Laura Steiner
Milton Council has approved the rezoning of a new location for the ReStore. The unanimous decision was reached at the council meeting on February 12, 2018.
The group is looking to relocate from their current location on the corner of Brown & Main St. They submitted an application to allow for retail at 151 Steeles Ave. Initially, town Staff recommended the application be denied citing conformity to planning policies.
ReStore is operated as part of Habitat for Humanity. Chief Executive Officer for Mississauga-Halton John Gerrard presented to Council based on that decision. Gerrard pointed out that ReStore is different from other retail. “There is no box that says other/social enterprise/not for profit” on the application,” he explained ReStore will be looking for ways to address that concern. They checked the box labelled retail, because that seemed most appropriate. The ReStore sells second hand furniture, and goods. “Their operation doesn’t meet any category,” Councillor Colin Best said agreed in the debate that followed.
A second presentation followed from Milton Transitional Housing Executive Director (MTH) Donna Danielli. “If they run out their lease, and have to leave Milton, that will be our loss,” Danielli said. The ReStore rents office space to MTH. If ReStore left Milton, the MTH would have to rent other premises.
Council voted unanimously against the staff recommendation. Councillor Rick Malboeuf proposed an amendment to change the zoning, which passed unanimously. ” Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga is grateful to Town Councillors who unanimously rejected their staff recommendation and allowed the rezoning for expanded Habitat ReStore. I appreciate their time and commitment to ensuring that our recycling and repurposing ReStore would still remain in Milton,” Gerrard said in an email.
The other issue concerned Development Charges (DC’s). The report recommended a deferral agreement of approximately $500,000 for the new premises. There is an estimated $15,000 in fees and permits on the move as well. “It is awesome to see the support and respect the ReStore, and has in our community,” Danielli said in an email. The new location will include 7500 sq. ft. in retail space, 10,000 sq. ft. in warehouse, and 5,000 sq. ft. for training.
The ReStore has diverted 500,000 pounds from landfills, and raised over $750,000 in net revenues since opening in 2014. They have approximately 18 months left on the lease at the current location. Once they relocate, the building will become part of an expanded community square.