Kentville doctor cites housing crisis in appeal of basement apartment decision

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A Kentville, N.S., doctor is appealing a decision by the town to deny his company a development permit. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
A Kentville, N.S., doctor is appealing a decision by the town to deny his company a development permit. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

A doctor in Kentville, N.S., has appealed a development decision by town planning officials, citing the province's new mandate to increase housing.

Dr. Dion Davidson is a vascular surgeon and director of M.D. Davidson Investments Inc., which is seeking a development permit to put a basement apartment at 254 Cornwallis St., located next to the Valley Regional Hospital.

The company insists in documents recently filed with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board that the property is already zoned for multiple housing and "could easily be converted to provide medical student housing."

The town rejected the application on Dec. 2. According to a letter from Beverley Gentleman, Kentville's director of planning and development, the property is located in a limited commercial zone.

That zoning only permits existing residential dwellings, "therefore adding an additional dwelling unit within the building would be contrary to the Land Use Bylaw."

The company is asking the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to overturn the ruling.

Robert Short/CBC
Robert Short/CBC

In an appeal launched on Dec. 12, the company pointed out there is a serious housing crisis in Nova Scotia and Municipal Affairs Minister John Lohr has been asked to increase housing supply, including student housing, by creating a task force to work with communities.

The appeal states the decision of Kentville's development officer is contrary to the new provincial mandate. M.D. Davidson Investments also maintains the rejection of a development permit is not in keeping with the land-use bylaw.

A UARB hearing on the matter is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 22.

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