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the Guardian
December 13th, 2006
by Dave Stewart

Developer will attempt to answer concerns about townhouse plans

APM Group wins city council approval for waterfront brownstone project

A Charlottetown developer says he will attempt to respond to the concerns of residents when it comes to a proposed townhouse development on the city's waterfront.

Tim banks, president of APM, cleared one major hurdle this week when city council voted 9-1 in favour of allowing his 36 unit brownstone project - dubbed Harbour Square Townhouses - to go ahead.

Pending any appeals before the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, Banks will be seeking a permit to begin construction in late April.

A public meeting was held last week, a chance for residents to see what APM is proposing.

The land Banks wants to build on used to be owned by Transport Canada and is now in the hands of the Charlottetown Harbour Authority which wants to have paying customers on the vacant land in order to finance other working parts of the port.

At the meeting, Banks heard concerns and is trying to address them. "A couple of the neighbors felt... there should be more consideration given to the facades of the buildings, not to take away from what we've proposed but to give them some uniqueness," Banks said Tuesday after learning about council's vote the night before.

When Banks talks about the facade of his buildings, he means that the three buildings aren't necessarily going to look identical.

"We've also proposed reconfiguring the buildings a  little bit to separate them farther." That's in response to concerns that the three buildings, which were only supposed to be between 12 and 15 feet apart, would completely block the view of the waterfront.

"We would actually shorten the length of the building and deepen it a bit on the two end buildings and that would help us open up the sightlines between the buildings."

Banks said he's not making any definite promises on altering APM's original proposal.

"If it's feasible to do that we believe that it will bring more value to our buildings in terms of practical and an appearance point of view."

Coun. Bruce Garrity was the lone councilor to oppose the project at council's regular public monthly meeting on Monday.

"I've been saying for the past five, six years that I was hoping there would be a moratorium on development on the waterfront side (of Water Street)." Garrity said. "That land belongs to all of us. I vote no on where it is, not what it is."

Deputy Mayor Stu MacFadyen said as long as APM's proposal meets all the city's bylaws he's fine with it.

Coun. Kim Devine, chair of planning and development, said she's pleased to see Banks responding to the concerns over the project.

"I think it will address the concerns," Devine said. "We know this land will be developed. (This project) ensures we will have residents down there all the time."

Coun. Mitchell Tweel said the city should do residents on the waterfront a big favour and put together a comprehensive plan for the entire waterfront rather than address each project as it comes up.

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