HomeNo new development for Stratford until rules ease

No new development for Stratford until rules ease

Apr 7 2008

P.E.I.'s fastest growing community is looking to amend plans for downtown development in the wake of a threat from a local developer.

'There's absolutely no commercial development happening.'— Tim Banks, APM

Stratford Mayor Kevin Jenkins now admits the plan, which was first revealed in late 2006 and hailed by council as a 50-year plan for the community, put too many restrictions on commercial development.

Those restrictions went far beyond what other communities require, including dictating the colour of paint, the type of building materials and landscaping, said APM Construction chief executive officer Tim Banks.

Stratford is the Island's third largest and fastest growing community, but Banks said commercial developers will avoid the town because of the plan, which he decried at the start as too ambitious.

"They're getting nothing. There's absolutely no commercial development happening in this here community, and I expect there won't be," said Banks.

Jenkins said the plan, which covers a proposed downtown development on the waterfront, did need some changes, and revisions will be shown in a public meeting on April 16.

"Hopefully we've struck a balance that will allow some commercial developments to take place in Stratford," Jenkins said.

"We need commercial development in Stratford. However, we don't need it badly enough to abandon all of our principles," Jenkins said.

Banks won't say how much land he owns in Stratford, but did say he won't develop any of it under the plan as it now stands, because it would be too expensive.

APM is moving its headquarters out of Stratford to West Royalty, in the north of Charlottetown.

Retail tenants won't pay city rents in a small town, he said. "They're going to pay a premium in the Charlottetown marketplace because there are more shoppers," he said.

"The less shoppers there are, the less they're going to pay."

Stratford town councillors wasted $200,000 trying to make the town look like Disney World, said Banks.

Media Contact: MediaReleases@apm.ca