SUMMERSIDE – Concern over the width of a proposed access road and a gravesite at the Lefurgey Subdivision extension project hasn’t delayed the process for the development of building lots for the project, but city officials will be looking into both issues.
The city’s technical services committee heard from residents on Tuesday, that a proposed access road did not meet the width requirements for city streets under the City of Summerside Act.
The developers, D&D Developments Ltd., had proposed an access road from the subdivision project to Water Street East. The proposed roadway was 30-feet wide at one end, narrowing to 26-feet at the other end.
Former city councillor Ben Cairns said the width of the street did not meet the requirements contained in the act.
Cairns said under the act, all streets must be 50-feet wide.
“When I sat on this on council you couldn’t go for anything less than 50 feet,” he said. “How did you put this (narrower road) in there? The second thing I want to bring up is that there are graveyards down there near the water, about 65 feet to 100 feet in. You can’t put a lot in a graveyard.”
Technical services department director Aaron MacDonald said the proposed street only calls for the road surface and water and sewer mains, not sidewalks and no on-street parking.
He said with the shortened width, there would still be enough area to have two-way traffic.
He said at present, there is only one access road to the subdivision and with the proposed extension another entrance is needed.
Water Street East resident Myles Clark said the city could be looking at legal action if it allows the access road to be less than the standards specified in the act.
Clark said when the initial plans first came out this access road was not part of the design.
“We were assured by the developer that it wasn’t wide enough for a roadway and that wasn’t going to be considered,” he said. “We were quite surprised to this option floating around. We pursued legal opinions on this. Our lawyer informed us that according to section 63.4 of the City of Summerside Act, any new street laid by the city must have a minimum width of 50 feet.”
He said the lane being proposed for the access is an old farm lane and had limited access.
“I think it’s only fair that you should be abiding by your own City of Summerside Act,” he said.
MacDonald said there has been talks with adjacent property owners to either widen the access road or relocate it, but to date those negotiations have failed.
Developer Robert Duffy said he would continue to talk with property owners to see if a deal can be struck to widen the access road or relocate it. He said he will also check the provincial registry about the gravesite.
Duffy asked if the committee would recommend that he be allowed to keep his schedule for lot development while these two issues were worked out.
The Technical Services committee co-chairman, Coun. Tina Mundy, recommended that the development of the lots be allowed to move forward with the exception of the area of the access road and the possible gravesite. She suggested that those two issues be dealt with prior to the February city council meeting.
The committee did vote preliminary approval to the subdivision.
The matter comes before the full city council on Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m.