© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee looks over some paperwork during the monthly meeting of council Monday night.
Newfoundland developer Paul Madden finally got the green light Monday night for a second condominium development on Charlottetown's waterfront.
In an 8-2 vote, city council approved the application by Atlantis Health Spa Ltd. although it didn't have any choice in the matter.
That's because the province's highest court dismissed an appeal filed by the City of Charlottetown of an IRAC ruling quashing council's decision to reject the application.
In a 50-page ruling released in August, the P.E.I. Court of Appeal said there was no reviewable error in the commission's decision. Therefore, the court dismissed the appeal.
Madden had asked council to amend the city's comprehensive development area zoning and development bylaw to allow a mixed-use development on the property he owned adjacent to Founders' Hall. Madden proposed to develop the property to accommodate a mix of commercial, office and residential units on its vacant lot on the city's waterfront. That property is located between his Atlantis' condominium development at 4 Prince Street and Founders' Hall.
Coun. Rob Lantz, chairman of the planning committee, said it doesn't mean the new building will be a reality.
"Not necessarily,'' Lantz said. "Madden has not really given any indication that he's proceeding with the proposal that we approved here this evening.''
The Guardian did reach Madden Monday night after council's regular public monthly meeting, but the developer politely declined to comment on his intentions at this time, saying only that council had no choice.
Council will also allow Madden to proceed, should he choose to build, under the old zoning and development bylaw rather than the current waterfront plan that was arrived at after intensive consultations with the public and the Ekistics planning firm in Dartmouth. Madden will be allowed to proceed under the rules which existed at the time he made his application.
"He could if he wants but he could also proceed under our new waterfront zone which has, maybe, more stringent development standards but also allows for much more vertical density and various things that are probably attractive to him as a developer. I have heard that he may eventually proceed under the new bylaw,'' Lantz said.
The new waterfront plan focuses more on what the actual buildings look like and will try to put more attention on ensuring that new additions or new buildings complement what is in the downtown area as opposed to take away from it.
Couns. David MacDonald and Mitchell Tweel voted against the resolution. Tweel explained that "we went through an exhaustive process'' in the leadup to approving a new waterfront plan and "made a commitment to the residents of the city'' and that it isn't fair to make an exception in this case.
Mayor Clifford Lee disagreed, saying that it only makes sense to apply the rules that existed at the time to this project.