Brackley Point Road townhouse proposal rejected by Charlottetown council

After a year of discussions about rezoning a large vacant property on Brackley Point Road in Charlottetown, a proposed townhouse development will not go ahead.

City council voted Monday evening to reject an application to rezone the property at 68 Brackley Point Rd. to medium-density residential. It is currently zoned as low-density residential, and the neighbourhood is largely made up of single-family homes. 

"You want to make sure that whatever is put there long term, it kind of fits the area," said Coun. Greg Rivard, who chairs the city's planning committee. 

Council's vote to reject the application was in keeping with the recommendation from the planning committee. Only Coun. Mike Duffy was in favour of the application.

"I think we lost an opportunity to have 14 units to help people out and find decent housing. And that's 14 more that we're going to have to find somewhere else," Duffy said. 

Concerns over proposal

The owners of the property first applied to rezone it in January 2019. At the time, they had plans for an apartment building. However they later withdrew that application, and put forward a new one, with the intention to build townhouses, with a total of 14 units.

At a public meeting in October, a number of Sherwood residents voiced concerns about the proposal, with many saying they were worried about increased traffic. A traffic study was completed in November, which found traffic would not pose an issue. However, Rivard said there were still other concerns. 

Tom Steepe/CBC

"The planning staff thought it could be looked at as spot zoning" Rivard said. 

"[It] had the potential to, you know, to open the door for further development in that area, which is, you know, which is very different from what is there today." 

Property could still be rezoned

Duffy said he thinks a mix of different kinds of housing within a neighbourhood is a good thing.

"Nobody wants to see plot after plot or land after land devoted to one specific use. It gets a little monotonous. I represent Brighton Ward 3, and I have apartment buildings … in areas where the zoning is primarily R1. But it adds some mixture to the setup."

Sarah MacMillan/CBC

Rivard said just because this rezoning application was rejected doesn't mean the property couldn't be rezoned in the future. He acknowledged that the lot is large for a single-family home. 

"The city continues to evolve and change," he said. "This is a parcel of land, the whole area, that needs, I think, to be reviewed by planning to make sure that there is a long-term vision for that area … before moving forward."

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