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Charlottetown council defers vote on Pine Drive apartment proposal

This is an artist concept drawing of what the proposed 41-unit apartment building would look like at 9, 11 and 13 Pine Dr. in Charlottetown. The building would feature a stepped roof, meaning it would be three storeys tall in one section and four storeys tall in the other. Dave Stewart/The Guardian
This is an artist concept drawing of what the proposed 41-unit apartment building would look like at 9, 11 and 13 Pine Dr. in Charlottetown. The building would feature a stepped roof, meaning it would be three storeys tall in one section and four storeys tall in the other. - Dave Stewart
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

The proposal to build a 41-unit apartment complex on Pine Drive in Charlottetown is on hold.

Charlottetown city council deferred a vote on the issue at its regular monthly meeting in March.

Council was set to vote on the proposal when Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the planning and heritage committee, said the developer had requested the matter be postponed until it had a chance to meet with the area residents in the hope of finding a middle ground.

Pine Cone Developments, of which Bevan Enterprises is a partner, has purchased the property at 9 Pine Dr. and wants to have it zoned from single-detached residential (R1) to medium density residential (R3) and to consolidate it with 11 and 13 Pine Dr., which were zoned R3 back when Sherwood amalgamated with Charlottetown in 1995.

“We had received an email from the applicant just asking for the application to be deferred,’’ Rivard said following the council meeting. “They wanted the opportunity to go back. They want an opportunity to meet with the residents and see if there was the potential for finding a middle ground on that development.’’

Joanne MacRae, who lives near a proposed 41-unit apartment building on Pine Drive in Charlottetown, said residents might accept a townhouse development but will not bend on opposition to an apartment building. Council chose to defer the apartment building vote until after the applicant asked to meet with residents again to see if there is any middle ground.
Joanne MacRae, who lives near a proposed 41-unit apartment building on Pine Drive in Charlottetown, said residents might accept a townhouse development but will not bend on opposition to an apartment building. Council chose to defer the apartment building vote until after the applicant asked to meet with residents again to see if there is any middle ground.

Residents who showed up at a recent public meeting to discuss the proposal were opposed to the proposal, just as they were three years ago when the developer had initially wanted to

The 41-unit proposal calls for a building that would feature a stepped roof, meaning part of it would be three storeys while another section would be four storeys. The developer said the intent is to disguise the scale of the building.build a 27-unit apartment building.

If the developer is able to reach an agreement with the residents, the process would likely start all over again with a new application. If no agreement is reached, council will vote on the current proposal. That was supposed to happen at council's next regular public meeting on April 13, but everything is up in the air right now with the ongoing pandemic sitiuation. The city said on April 1 it isn't sure when the issue will be dealt with.

The deferral didn’t sit well with a group of Pine Drive-area residents who attended the council meeting in March.

“We’re extremely disappointed,’’ said Joanne MacRae, who spoke for the group, adding that they had hoped the issue would have been dealt with once and for all.

MacRae said she has talked to concerned residents in the area and they all agree that the developer has to take 9 Pine Dr. off the table and leave it zoned R1. They’re willing to talk about 11 and 13 Pine Dr., but they want something much smaller than an apartment building.

“I think we’re willing to (accept) townhouses (or) two-storey townhouses, something that looks nice on the streetscape,’’ MacRae said. “That could be entertained, but it will have to be (in) a written comprehensive development agreement.’’


THE VOTE

Following is a breakdown of the Pine Drive issue:

  • Applicant has purchased property at 9 Pine Dr. and is asking council to rezone it from single-detached residential (R1) to medium density residential (R3) and to consolidate the property with 11 and 13 Pine Dr., both of which are currently zoned R3.
  • Applicant asked council to defer vote, which council obliged at a recent meeting.
  • Voting in favour of the deferral were councillors Alanna Jankov, Kevin Ramsay, Greg Rivard, Julie McCabe, Terry Bernard and Mike Duffy.
  • Voting against the deferral were councillors, Mitchell Tweel, Terry MacLeod and Jason Coady.
  • Coun. Bob Doiron declared a conflict of interest and abstained from the vote.

Developer wants to find common ground

Trevor Bevan
Trevor Bevan

The developer for a proposed 41-unit apartment building on Pine Drive in Charlottetown says they did their best to try to address the concerns of area residents.

Trevor Bevan with Bevan Enterprises said they have made considerable changes from the original application which include a major front-yard setback and significant landscaping to add curb appeal.

The developer has purchased the property a 9 Pine Dr. and is asking council to rezone it from single-detached residential (R1) to medium density residential (R3) and to consolidate it with 11 and 13 Pine Dr., both of which were zoned R3 back when Sherwood amalgamated with Charlottetown in 1995.

APM is also involved in the project.

“We only had a few residents attend the meeting to voice their concerns, yet many showed up afterwards at a public meeting with negative feedback."

The proposal was supposed to come to a vote at council’s regular monthly meeting in March, but the developer asked, and received, a deferral. The developer wanted another chance to meet with residents to see if there is common ground that can be found.

“We have reached out to the residents to see if they are open to discuss any compromises that can be made with the current proposal,’’ Bevan told The Guardian in an email.

As of April 1, the two sides haven't been able to find common ground.

“We are hoping they reconsider (their opposition to the project) but, so far, they have shown no interest in having the conversation.’’

Council decided to give the two sides another month. If common ground can be found, then the developer would have to submit a new proposal and the process would start all over again. If not, council will have to vote on the original request. That was supposed to happen at council's next regular public meeting on April 13 but, due to the ongoing pandemic, a lot of issues are up in the air right now. As of Wednesday, the city wasn't sure when it would be dealt with.

Joanne MacRae, who speaks on behalf of residents who live in the Pine Drive area, said they are disappointed council deferred the vote. MacRae added that she has had discussions with the developer recently.

MacRae said they might be willing to accept a townhouse-type project at 11 and 13 Pine Dr. but they want 9 Pine Dr. taken off the table and left zoned R1.

Bevan said they did host a neighbourhood meeting to discuss a proposed townhouse development.

“We only had a few residents attend the meeting to voice their concerns, yet many showed up afterwards at a public meeting with negative feedback,’’ Bevan said.

The 41-unit proposal calls for a building that would feature a stepped roof, meaning part of it would be three storeys tall while another section would rise to four storeys. Bevan said the intent is to make the the scale of the building less intrusive on the neighbourhood.

“We are excited to bring a quality development to the area of Sherwood and have received a lot of positive feedback on this proposal,’’ Bevan said.

Twitter.com/DveStewart

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