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Charlottetown councillor says some areas of city are being “overdeveloped”

Bob Doiron. (File photo)
Bob Doiron. (File photo)

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Charlottetown city council has to start hitting the brakes when it comes to “overdevelopment” in the city, says one councillor.

Bob Doiron made the remark while discussing an application to rezone 4 Valdane Ave. from single detached residential to medium density residential in order to allow for construction of a three-unit townhouse.

Council voted 5-2 to allow the rezoning, with the bylaw passing its first and second readings during the meeting. The bylaw will go through a third reading during next month’s council meeting.

Doiron and Coun. Jason Coady both voted against the motion, while Coun. Melissa Hilton declared a conflict of interest.

Doiron said while every rezoning application should be viewed individually, residents in the area felt the current zoning would remain in place when they bought or built homes in the area.

“It seems like, in the city, every open lot is available to be expanded,” said Doiron, noting that most of the properties surrounding the lot are zoned as single detached residential. “I think in Sherwood right now, we’re just overdeveloping so much. I think we’ve got to just think a little bit here and put the brakes on it.”
Coady said it wasn’t the building itself, but rather the process that led him to vote against the application.

During a public meeting last month, resident Darren Ings said he felt it was “confrontational” that Hilton was with the applicants when approaching residents in the area for feedback.

“It’s a matter of process on this one. A councillor is in conflict of interest and went door-to-door with the applicant,” said Coady. “I have to question the process that got us here so for that reason I won’t be supporting this application.”

Coun. Greg Rivard, who chairs planning board, said after the meeting that Hilton told him he she was not endorsing the project when she spoke with residents. He also noted she did declare a conflict of interest in the process and could not vote on or discuss the application.

Rivard also responded to Doiron’s concerns by stating Charlottetown is in need of mixed use housing and different types of homes.

“The demographics in Charlottetown are changing,” said Rivard. “I think a mix is good… and that’s why we have the application process, we can view (applications) individually.

“Each application is based on its own merits.”

Mayor Clifford Lee and Coun. Mitch Tweel were both absent from the meeting.

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