Council voted unanimously during Tuesday’s meeting to rescind a previous vote and will now allow the proposed development at 55 and 59 Richmond Street to proceed to a public meeting
In the summer, council voted 6-4 against the 23-unit and four-storey proposal from proceeding due to concerns over the proximity between the decks of the existing condominiums and proposed development.
Developer and APM Group president Tim Banks had filed an appeal of council’s previous decision with IRAC, although the review was not completed before council reversed its decision Tuesday.
Banks described his project as legitimate, viable and “well within the reasonable variances the city has passed.”
“We anticipate it will go forward. Unfortunately, there may be a bunch of rich condo owners that don’t like it but hey, does the city want affordable housing?,” said Banks, noting the condominiums next door were built with zero variance. “We’re doing it as per the rules… the issue is a bunch of rich condo owners next door complaining and whining to their local councillor… he never gave any consideration for what people in the city want.”
Banks said the proposed apartments would be affordable housing with rent about 30 per cent lower than downtown market prices, which would likely be popular with young professionals and seniors.
Greg Rivard, chair of the city’s heritage and planning committee, said allowing the proposal to proceed to a public meeting was an issue of “procedural fairness.”
He said following the previous 6-4 vote the city’s solicitor suggested council review the proposal again to “make sure there wasn’t any confusion when the initial vote was done.”
“There appeared to be some confusion on what council was voting on and council thought it was procedurally fair to allow the applicant to go to a public meeting,” said Rivard, noting while there were still concerns with the proximity of the two decks Banks was within his rights.
The date of the public meeting has yet to be announced.