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the Guardian
March 17, 2007
by Wayne Thibodea

Developer shows city council changes in plans to address residents’ concerns  

This is an artist’s sketch, provided by APM, showing the details of the Harbour Square townhouses project planned for Water Street in Charlottetown. City council held a second public meeting on the project Thursday. It has already been approved by city council.

Tim Banks says blocks of waterfront townhouses will be better separated and not identical
The Guardian

A proposed waterfront housing development went back before Charlottetown city council Thursday and once again faced opposition.

But the proposal has already been endorsed by city hall and will more than likely go ahead as planned.

Tim Banks APM Group is planning to build three 12-unit townhouses along Water Street Parkway on the Charlottetown waterfront. The 36 units will be built between Hillsborough and Weymouth streets across the street from the Workers Compensation Board building.

City hall held a public meeting in December. It then went to city council where the $7-million project was approved by a vote of 9-1.

But council got its wrist slapped by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs for not following the Planning Act. The city was supposed to have seven clear days notice before holding the meeting. It only had six days.

So a second meeting was required Thursday evening.

That allowed the developer to explain some of the changes he is considering for the proposal to address concerns raised by residents.

Banks said the new proposal adds more space between the three buildings allowing for a greater view of Charlottetown harbour. He said changes have also been made to the façade of the buildings so the three buildings don’t look so much alike.

The changes will also mean two to three of the entrances will be moved off Water Street Parkway and onto the side streets of Hillsborough and Weymouth streets.

“I think it’s a good investment for the city,” Banks told residents and councillors who attended the public meeting.

“It provides us with new housing options for the downtown, it’s responding to what we see as a consumer demand, and it’s adding to the preservation of this neighbourhood.”

But Banks’ updated project still didn’t please some area residents.

Malcolm Lodge lives at 201 Water St., across the street from the proposed development. He said a valuable piece of property on the city’s waterfront should not be used for residential properties.

“To me, the issue is not ‘is this good for the city? Is it going to put more people downtown?’ I firmly believe we need more people downtown with the right project,” said Lodge.

“If it were in any other city in the world on the waterfront you would not see residential townhouses being built on the water-side of Water Street. This land is ours and it’s being put to the wrong use.”

Lodge said the land should be saved for public use, maybe even a provincial museum.

“This land will be needed by the city down the road.”

The project will go back to city hall in April for approval once again. It is expected to once again get the green light.

Banks would like construction to start this spring if all the approvals can be put in place.

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