Condos on Clonmel Castle grounds

Clonmel Castle property at the Prospect St and Tisdale Road intersection

Agreement reached to build up to 12 new units

By David Judd

A proposed settlement envisions a long future for the historic Clonmel property in Port Dover.

It calls for preservation of the handsome Clonmel Castle, formerly the Barrett mansion, set on three acres at the corner of Prospect Street and Tisdale Road.

The mansion will be permitted to have five suites inside, which Clonmel owner Lynnee Steffler is offering for sale.

Up to 12 condo units are permitted to be built in a new building designed to complement the castle.

The deal was reached by Ms. Steffler, neighbour Sheila Whiteley and Norfolk County.
The Ontario Land Tribunal, formerly the Ontario Municipal Board, will be asked to approve the agreement Oct. 15.

“The dream is coming true and I can share Clonmel with everyone,” Ms. Steffler said in an interview.

“I thank everyone for being so understanding,” she said.
“There will be a much better look and feel for the neighbourhood.”


Highlights of the settlement:

  • Clonmel property to be declared “a significant cultural heritage landscape.”
  • Features of the mansion and its grounds to be preserved, including windows, doors, the stone wall, mature trees and views.
  • Permission to build 12 stacked townhouses in the northwest corner of the property backing on Tisdale Road.
  • The townhouses must be built of materials that complement Clonmel Castle.
  • The townhouses must be lower in height than the castle.
  • When new zoning takes effect, Ms. Steffler no longer may operate a bed and breakfast business or hotel at Clonmel and cannot hold special events at the property.
  • Construction must wait for Port Dover to increase its drinking water capacity at its Nelson Street treatment plant.
Conceptual site plan for the proposed new condominium building on the Clonmel Castle property. The new units would be lower in height and of materials that complement the existing building.

It’s been a long road since Ms. Steffler bought Clonmel in 2015.

She has spent more than $1 million refurbishing the mansion erected in 1929 by the prominent Barrett family.

In March 2019 county council rejected Ms. Steffler’s plan to build 36 townhouses clustered in four buildings around the Clonmel mansion.

Neighbours expressed concerns about traffic, drainage, overdevelopment and loss of heritage.

Ms. Steffler appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, which later became the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and now is called the Ontario Land Tribunal.

Ms. Steffler, Mrs. Whiteley and Norfolk County negotiated and signed the settlement in April.
County council released details last week to bring the public up to speed before the tribunal hearing Oct. 15.

Clonmel Castle’s website advertises “Royal Residences” for sale for “upscale living for mature adults.”

Although the condo project could be adjusted to suit the market, the current plan calls for a two-storey building divided into 10 to 12 units.

Each unit would be about 1,000 square feet.

Parking would be underground.

Residences for sale also include five suites inside Clonmel Castle, ranging in price from $399,000 to $699,000.

Before COVID-19 closed her business, Ms. Steffler rented 12 bedrooms.

With the help of rising property values and a new mortgage, she spent the last several months renovating the 12 rooms into six luxury suites.

Five suites are for sale. Ms. Steffler plans to keep the sixth for herself.

The suites will share an extra large communal area within Clonmel — 4,500 square feet.

“It won’t feel crowded,” Ms. Steffler said.

“There’s no house like Clonmel,” she said. “It’s just stunning and now it can stay exactly the same forever.”

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