Charlottetown residents living near a proposed development on Trainor Street have been successful in getting city council to reconsider the project.
The development would be three buildings, a mix of townhouses and apartments. Each building would have 20 units, for a total of 60. The buildings would be constructed behind Royalty Maple Cottages on Malpeque Road, at the corner of Trainor Street and Katie Drive.
Residents from the area of Southview Estates have had meetings and staged demonstrations outside city hall asking for the project to be looked at again.
Charlottetown city council voted 6-4 to reconsider the project Monday night at a council meeting.
John Barrett lives near the proposed development and put forward the request to reconsider. He says he is pleased by the decision.
"At least some council recognized the importance of giving citizens the opportunity to express their concerns," he said.
However, when the chair of planning, Mike Duffy, brought forward the recommendation to reconsider from the planning committee the decision was made to go behind closed doors so council could get clarity on what was being voted on from the city solicitor.
Barrett said he was disappointed by that decision.
"Those of us that were at city hall and we were watching the live stream of the thing were denied the opportunity to hear what was discussed about our very own reconsideration request," he said. "That in-camera session went on for some 40 some minutes and we have no idea what they were being told."
There has been "so much information flying around," Duffy said following the council meeting Monday night.
"Some of it was pertinent and some of it wasn't pertinent," he said. "There were certain councillors getting that information. And I was just uncomfortable without having a little time with council with our solicitor who could explain the intricate details about all this information."
Duffy said he wanted to make sure councillors were up to date on the most accurate information.
The plan now is to have a public meeting with the residents who have expressed concerns about the development.
"It will be the end of November," he said. "Notification will go out 100 metres from each corner of the said property that is being developed."
Traffic the issue, not buildings
If a public meeting is not successful in getting the city to reconsider the project, Barrett plans to appeal to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, he said.
The issue isn't with the proposed building — it's with the traffic it could bring to the area, said Barrett.
"We have no issue what so ever with the apartment buildings," he said. "We do not want all the traffic from 60 apartment units flowing into our R1 neighbourhood."
The main entry and exit for the buildings would be onto Trainor Street.
Barrett said there are seniors and kids in the neighbourhood and no sidewalks and it is a safety concern.
"That's our beef. It's not with the buildings. It's not with the developer. It's all about the traffic."
Back in July, Coun. Greg Rivard, then Charlotteown's chair of planning and heritage, said a study done in the area found the building would have no significant impact on traffic.
However, Monday night Rivard was one of six councillors who voted to reconsider the development.
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