Wednesday, December 6, 2006
by Nigel Armstrong
Brownstone Proposal Given High Praise by Some at Meeting
Proposed project for south side of Water Street in
Charlottetown welcomed by business representatives;
opponents question height and loss of waterfront
Banks got a warm reception from most of the audience
during a public meeting to discuss his Charlottetown
waterfront townhouse concept.
meeting was hosted by Charlottetown City Council as
Banks seeks a change to a concept plan so he can build
three townhouse-condominium complexes on the south side
of Water Street.
Stan MacPherson, chair of the Charlottetown Harbour
Authority, told the meeting that the land use to be
public land controlled by Transport Canada. But the
authority now owns it and needs to have paying customers
on the vacant land in order to finance other working
parts of the port.
city had a concept plan that would have seen six,
two-storey residential complexes over the entire area.
Canâ€™t be done, said Banks. Half of the area in question
is contaminated with chemical or oil leaks from the
former rail yard and oil storage tanks. The only land
that makes economic sense to develop is the land along
the edge of Water Street. Banks wants to put up three,
three-storey buildings there.
“What will you call Water Street when you canâ€™t see the
water anymore?” asked Anne Thurlow.
will get back to you,” said Mayor Clifford Lee who
chaired the meeting.
Joel Ives of Century 21 had high praise for the project,
as did MacPherson, Sean Casey as a member to the
Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, Peter Hyndman as
a member of Downtown Charlottetown Inc., and Scott
McEwen, an interested citizen and land valuator.
Other people at the meeting said the development looked
boring, like a train or that it would reflect traffic
noise making for an unbearable sound for nearby
was too much for Catherine Hennessey, who was near tears
when she briefly spoke at the meeting to say the city
had stooped to spot development for its valuable land.
are losing our vistas,” she said. “We are losing our
waterfront. I am almost in despair.”
Malcolm Lodge lives across the road from the proposed
development. He said the design reminded him of row
houses in the slums of Liverpool, in the United
Kingdom. Lodge said high-end townhouses are needed in
Charlottetown but not on the proposed location. He
suggested the Canada Lands holdings around
Much attention was paid to the actual height of the
building, with Hennessey, Lodge and others saying it
really is four storeys but because of the way the bylaws
are written Banks is able to call it a three-storey
“There is going to be some kind of development on that
waterfront someday,” said Mannie Kays. “The way I see
it, anything over two storeys, the view is blocked
anyway. I would sooner see an apartment or condominium
than offices or other buildings down there.”