An undeveloped green space across from the Summerside boardwalk, known colloquially as Hippenstall's Corner, has been rezoned.
Coun. Brian McFeely presented the decision during Summerside's regular council meeting at city hall on Oct. 19. The property, located on the corner between Water Street and South Drive, was rezoned from medium-density residential (R3) to high-density residential (R4).
The property has been the subject of talks since earlier this year as city staff proposed rezoning it to better enable developers to build there. At least one has already submitted design plans to construct four-storey apartment buildings with underground parking.
The land already allowed for three storeys, meaning the change to R4 only allows for one additional storey. The rezoning was approved unanimously, however, several city councillors expressed how challenging the decision was for them.
Coun. Justin Doiron wants to ensure the property's ecosystem won't be heavily impacted and for the city to know the results of any environmental assessments the potential developer conducts.
"Before they just put a shovel in the ground and get going," Coun. Justin Doiron said.
A wetland and stream exist on the property, which was a topic of concern among the public. One of the decision's criteria is that if or when the potential developer applies, the site plan must be compatible with the property's environmental, scenic and heritage resources.
"I like to think that development and environment can live in harmony."
- Coun. Brian McFeely
As well, a buffer zone has been identified by the province where no construction is permitted, which the developer has already incorporated into its design, according to planning board's recommendation.
"I like to think that development and environment can live in harmony," McFeely said.
Daniel Brown is a local journalism initiative reporter, a position funded by the federal government.