Owners of house in Fredericton heritage zone get OK to add modern apartments

·2 min read

A zoning amendment to allow two bachelor apartments to be added to a home in Fredericton's St. Anne's Heritage Preservation Zone has been approved by city council.

After a discussion council voted 8-4 in favour of the change.

The addition has been controversial because of its contemporary design, and some councillors said it could set a precedent for infill in the heritage area.

"This could be just the start of a lot of this," Coun. Eric Megarity said during the meeting. "Where does it begin and where does it end?"

Heritage board approved design

The Heritage Review Board approved the design over the summer. The decision before council at Monday night's meeting was to allow two bachelor apartments in the addition.

"The architectural side just doesn't fit what I think could have been done to make it fit," said Coun. Bruce Grandy. "My other point in this, is that we're talking about three businesses here, in one particular entity. We're talking about a store, we're talking about an Airbnb, which is a business, and we're talking about apartments."

Grandy, Megarity, Stephen Chase and Kate Rogers were the four councillors who voted against the amendment.

Coun. John MacDermid said the redevelopment is smaller than what could have been approved in the space.

"I think [the development] manages the size and the scale in the context of the neighbourhood, away from potentially what by right, that zoning could entail," he said.

Coun. Henri Mallet said he was torn about the decision:

Rogers predicts more proposals for change

"I was trying to find a way to vote no on this, but that being said I think that wouldn't be fair on the applicant because I think they checked all the boxes, and I think for that reason I'll be supporting this resolution," he said.

Coun. Kate Rogers said the decision could mean more infill in the area.

"This area is particularly vulnerable," she said.

Rogers said two other prominent heritage properties in the neighbourhood that were owned by the Anglican Diocese and recently sold — Bishop's House and the diocesan synod house — will eventually be brought to the planning advisory committee for modifications.

"There hasn't been a lot of action in that area, but we're going to see quite a bit," Rogers said. "And I think we need to be sensitive. Everything we do is going to impact the next one."