Cornwall wants help bringing new housing styles to town

Nigel Armstrong
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Cornwall town councillor, Peter Meggs, listens to a speaker during the regular meeting of council Wednesday night.

Coun. Peter Meggs asks Malpeque MP Wayne Easter, MLA Heath MacDonald for help diversifying housing

CORNWALL – The Town of Cornwall sees a need for diversity of housing styles in the community, so this week it met with other levels of government to encourage that direction.

Coun. Peter Meggs, chairman of Cornwall's planning committee, told the monthly council meeting Wednesday that he met Tuesday with Wayne Easter, MP for Malpeque, and Heath MacDonald, MLA for Cornwall, on the topic of housing.

"This was a bit of brainstorming to discuss future housing needs of the town," said Meggs. "It was good to make politicians from federal and provincial levels aware of where we would like to see the town going in the future and what kinds of housing options we would like to see offered and how we could get assistance and support on some of those ideas."

Cornwall wants to encourage developers to build more apartment units in the town, more side-by-side duplexes, more senior-friendly housing and any other housing styles a healthy community needs in its mix, Meggs said.

The federal government may have some funding programs in the new Trudeau government that could help, he added.

"Accessible housing, affordable housing, all those sorts of things — is there going to be a dedicated fund to assist municipalities to provide more of that kind of housing for residents?" Meggs wondered. "Wayne is in the know in terms of what's going to come out of Ottawa in the future."

For its part, the provincial government might have staff that could help with something like a demographic study that would provide developers with solid numbers about Cornwall's housing market in the future, said Meggs.

"There are a lot of seniors in our community right now and there are going to be more," said Meggs. "For us to help service those seniors, what is the best way for us to tap into the housing needs of people to make sure people are not leaving the community?

"We are just trying to encourage a whole range of development from our end," said Meggs. "We want to make sure that developers know that Cornwall is a community that will help that along."

Geographic location: Cornwall

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Recent comments

  • Dana
    January 21, 2016 - 15:20

    Reality is that most people won't spend their money on small lots or houses in a dense configuration. There is a reason communities generally develop as they do... it is because generally speaking that is what they want. If you want dense communities you need a community that is very old... or a situation where land is so expensive people will take small lots with their neighbours home 5-10 ft away from their's. Otherwise plan to sink a god-awful amount of money for little benefit. All in all I think dense communities are great (used to live near Ottawa and loved going to the Glebe) but when 98% of folks would live elsewhere when give the chance it isn't really practical.

  • laurent Beaulieu
    January 21, 2016 - 09:08

    This is a very good idea, maybe architectural competitions could be held to design new style of housing to meet changing needs. Many countries in Europe do this and it works well. Housing architecture should also reflect the region's people and history. An achievable goal.

  • implement a grid street network
    January 21, 2016 - 08:25

    The biggest barrier that Cornwall and Stratford as well as the Winsloe, West Royalty and East Royalty areas have to becoming ''walking friendly'' communities is the lack of a proper grid-style street network like downtown Charlottetown has, or Victoria by the Sea has for that matter. If you were to force developers to go to a grid with standard rectangular lots instead of the curving style of subdivision streets, then you'd get the density of development you desire. You also need to have proper sidewalks and have commercial establishments on ground floors with apartments above along major streets. People who live in the area will walk to those establishments such as coffee shops, restaurants and the like, instead of driving. PEI needs a complete re-think on it's very 1950s approach to subdivisions.