Council rejects developer's waterfront proposal

Dave Stewart
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Newfoundland developer Paul Madden said Monday he will turn to IRAC in an attempt to build again next to Founders' Hall.

City council rejected, 7-3, his application to proceed with a second building next to his condominium project.

It was the second straight time council said no and the second consecutive time planning board has recommended that council approve his request.

Voting against Monday's application were Couns. Cecil Villard, Mitchell Tweel, Danny Redmond, David MacDonald, Eddie Rice, Melissa Hilton and Terry Bernard.

Madden was proposing commercial space on the ground floor with some retail space similar to what is located over at Peakes Quay. A section of the development would have been to accommodate his marina with office and washroom space.

On the second floor, he'd have office space and rental units.

Madden was clearly frustrated after council voted to reject.

During the regular monthly meeting, some councillors argued that developments like the one Madden proposed didn't fit into the Official Plan.

"It's funny how councillors can stand up and speak and say we should follow the 12-year plan,'' Madden said, referring to the Official Plan. "They didn't have any issue when the convention centre came on site. That was not on the 12-year plan.

"Seems to me anything that government or council or CADC is involved in seems to always sail through but when you get private development . . . what am I supposed to do now.''

Madden originally wanted his condominium building to be bigger but council rejected that idea so he downsized. Since then, he's been trying to add another building.

"The development is not a sound one, strictly from a planning point of view,'' said Rice, who represents residents in the area.

Rice questions why CADC sold Madden the land in the first place to allow one building, perhaps creating an expectation on the developer's part that a second one would naturally follow.

Rice agrees that Madden has a right to build on land he owns but not at any price.

"If you're playing on the waterfront, you have got a responsibility to answer to the citizens. It's not an average piece of land. It comes with responsibilities.''

As for the convention centre, Rice said that was a mistake as well.

"The (convention) centre was a decision made again in the bowels of hell by whoever and it's proven that's where it's ending up. (That decision) was made by the provincial government and our good friend CADC. It came (to council) for rubber stamping.''

The convention centre project is on hold after the steel seawall buckled.

Madden said having planning board give his application thumbs up twice only to have council then reject it twice sends the wrong message.

"We have a planning department who are professional planners yet when it comes to make recommendations council says 'we know better than planners and we'll just override it'. It's frustrating to say that Charlottetown is open for business. Maybe they are, maybe they're not. Doesn't seem like they are very perceptive.''

www.Twitter.com/DveStewart

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Charlottetown
    November 15, 2011 - 11:51

    If you own a piece of land, then you should be able to develope it. Why sell it to him in the first place?? Residents here are too old fashion. If you're not going to allow him to build, pay him back double what he paid for it and let him move on and develope other Cities to generate revenue, as it clearly shows the councilors here don't want the money.

    • not necessary
      November 15, 2011 - 14:47

      Why should the city do that? He's using Charlottetown Harbour Authority land... CHA is a public agency that uses the former railway land.

  • More to It
    November 15, 2011 - 10:01

    As usual there is probably more to this than is reported . I find it interesting that Mr Madden was planning a 'marina'. This would definitely be an asset to the area. BUT it is also competition for Peakes Quay and the Yacht Club. Is someone blocking healthy competition?

  • Sasha
    November 15, 2011 - 09:46

    Thank you Mr Madden for cleaning the garbage dump that was there by the Confederation Landing Park. I might not love the looks of the building you built on that property, but no one can deny that that area looks much better now that it did before you developed it. Some, unfortunately rather loud, people living here prefer this place to stay as it was when they were born. As they get older they tend to romanticize their childhood and remember only the good things while forgetting the smell of horse droppings on the street. They have no problem with young people running away from this place and are perfectly content living from Federal charity that sustains this province. I do not understand, and no one really bothered to explain the reasoning behind the opposition to your new project - maybe your property tax money is not good enough, or maybe local producers and artisans do not deserve retail space you intended to provide them (based on your presentation I saw) where they could showcase their goods and their work to cruise ship passengers. Ether way, I hope you persist in your endeavours. The part of population opposing the progress here is smaller every year and many people who are actually working for living and have no time to write long letters to city counsellors would be grateful for any development which might move this place one step closer to the par with the rest of Canada.

    • whatever
      November 15, 2011 - 10:54

      Give me a break and spare me your drivel. This guy is no different than a Lyle Lanley from the Simpsons trying to sell a poor town a monorail. Your post is pathetic whining and lacks substance.

  • Downtown Doug
    November 15, 2011 - 09:30

    I have to say that the city need to be more prepared for issues like this because according to their own guidelines, this building has the right to build. You can't say yes to the convention centre and no to this. I don't understand where the developer thinks the buyers are coming from but in all reality, it's his money and not ours for once. If the city was on the ball the lobster shack that used to be at the end of that street would NOT have been allowed to be made into that huge building that block the water view. As for the lot, what do you think is going to go in there? REALLY! Is it presumed that since you won't let him build he'll just turn the property over to the city in the summer for sand sculpture events and alike? Before the city starts shutting down investment, get the game plan figured out so others will know what they're getting into.

  • Another View
    November 15, 2011 - 09:29

    Thank you to all Councillors who voted against another building being constructed on "Our" Waterfront. We don't need more buildings on our precious Waterfront or more mortar and brick. We dont' need to be like other Cities across Canada. Uniqueness is seen as a precious quality by many visitors and residents alike. We can see Huge Buildings and Condos in all cities across Canada and the world. Why not strive to be different instead of being the Status Quo! We also don't need a Convention Centre in my view. Especially not one with it's foundation under sea level and situated only a few feet from the Harbour! Put that project on hold or better yet take it off the list of "things to do" altogether. Spend that money on cleaning up the Harbour for the residents "who live here" and "pay taxes" instead of spending Millions for Visitors who may never show up! "Priorities"

  • Eddie Mayor
    November 15, 2011 - 09:20

    Eddie should be our next Mayor !!

  • WHY
    November 15, 2011 - 09:17

    Why would he want a second building if as is said here he cannot fill the first one. These people do not throw money away which usually means it is not their money being used to build. Who do you know that would throw away money on a non efficient building?( except the Government.)

  • Lloyd Kerry
    November 15, 2011 - 08:53

    The convention centre may sink into the sea even before it opens... p.s.- having to type in a validation code every time you make a comment is a pain. I don't think computer bots can click on an "I agree" box, so why the code?

  • empty properties
    November 15, 2011 - 08:47

    To my understanding there are three units plus the health spa in use. one is rented another is the care taker of the building and the other is Mr Madden. Why dont you sell the ones you have and not use your mistakes to build another. I hope everyone knows it is not his money that built it anyways and nor will be the second.

  • Rice is right
    November 15, 2011 - 07:43

    Is it true that the first building has sold no apartments? How would the developer be able to justify building another. We really don't need an empty building on the waterfront. It would become even more of an eyesore than the existing one.

  • Planning Board
    November 15, 2011 - 06:08

    with no opinion on this development, the developer has a point. Why do we have a planning board? Why does a development that fits the master plan get rejected, but a publicly financed non-starter like the convention centre, which is not part of the plan, get the go ahead? We know the answers, so let's just end the charade.

  • Mike G
    November 15, 2011 - 04:16

    The rest of the waterfront property should stay in public control. The railway was developed by the province in the 1870s and was always owned by the public as a Crown corporation. Once we sell off our waterfront, we have no more control over its use. Mr Madden can build his condos elsewhere.

  • Katherine Gutkind
    November 15, 2011 - 03:49

    Thank you to the Councillors who voted against this new development. I came to Charlottetown in 2008 partially because it is ( was ) unique. In this very short space of time, the three developers I know of have begun to ruin what is Charlottetown so that it may very quickly turn into any other town in any other part of Canada, US, ...... Charlottetown's small cedar shingled and brick properties must be kept, maintained, reinforced and reflected in any new commercial properties too. Let Charlottetown be different and be proud of it. Global developers and do it yourself architecture are not for this small, sweet and beautiful town.