Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown says he wants a review of the city's official plan and how it relates to development and zoning bylaws after a group raised concerns about a a 99-unit apartment complex that was approved for the waterfront without public consultation.
Pan American Properties, in collaboration with Killam REIT, have had their design review approved by the city and signed a development agreement for an eight-storey building on Haviland Street between the Culinary Institute of Canada and Queen Charlotte Armoury.
The company has yet to apply for a building permit. The project was scheduled to start this fall but has been pushed back to at least next spring, according to developer Tim Banks, though he said he plans to "mobilize the site" in the near future.
Many residents of Renaissance Place, a 42-unit building adjacent to the new development site, will have an obstructed view of the harbour when the new building is erected. Some will also lose their parking spaces.
Louise Aalders, who lives in Renaissance Place and speaks for the residents, said many are seniors who are also concerned about safety with increased traffic the new building will bring.
Concern 'more with process'
But she said the larger issue is the lack of public consultation.
"Our concern is more with the process, with the planning board, than it is with Tim Banks," Aalders said. "He's just trying to do developments and do his job so it's not necessarily with him we're wanting to get answers from, it's more from the city."
The group has met twice with Brown and Alanna Jankov, the councillor who represents the area, once in July and again last Monday.
Aalders said there is a petition with more than 300 signatures of people who want to stop the development. Another supporter, Doug MacArthur, has created a website and Facebook group called stopkillampei, in which he outlines dozens of reasons why the project should not go forward.
Brown said he understands the concerns of the group, but said the current bylaw allows for the development without public consultation as long as regulations have been met.
Banks said the plans are "stamped by licensed engineers and architects who are certifying that the building will meet all the bylaws, building codes and fire codes required for our building."
The public can still appeal the building permit within 21 days of the application.
It may be too late to affect the Haviland Street project, but Brown said he wants a review of the city's official plan to allow for more public consultation on future developments, especially along the waterfront.
"It requires a review. I'm asking our planning department to do a review," he said.
New planning committee
On Oct. 14, the city is shuffling its committees, and Coun. Mike Duffy will replace Coun. Greg Rivard as the chair of the planning committee. Rivard will chair protective and emergency services.
Joining Duffy on the new planning committee will be Brown, Jankov and councillors Julie McCabe and Mitchell Tweel.
"We're going to have a new group, let's see where we can go with it," Brown said.
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