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Stratford approves height exemption for waterfront apartment

This conceptual drawing from SableArc Studios shows a five-story, 79-unit apartment proposed for Michael Thomas Way. Stratford council granted a height exemption and front and rear yard setback variances during Wednesday’s meeting to allow the development to continue.
This conceptual drawing from SableArc Studios shows a five-story, 79-unit apartment proposed for Michael Thomas Way. Stratford council granted a height exemption and front and rear yard setback variances during Wednesday’s meeting to allow the development to continue. - Contributed

STRATFORD, P.E.I. – A five-story, 79-unit apartment building at Michael Thomas Way has been given the green light in Stratford.

Council voted unanimously on two resolutions during Wednesday’s meeting, one granting a front and rear setback variance and the other providing a height exemption, to allow Pan American Properties to continue with the development.

Council felt both moves enhanced the development.

“Most people who’ve seen the design so far feel it’s a better design than the first one submitted. But to get the design to look like this, it is slightly higher,” said Coun. Keith MacLean, who chairs the town’s planning committee.

“Most people who’ve seen the design so far feel it’s a better design than the first one submitted. But to get the design to look like this, it is slightly higher,” said Coun. Keith MacLean, who chairs the town’s planning committee.

While council had previously granted a height exemption allowing for up to 54 feet, it also asked the developer to look at breaking up the flat line of the roof.

After hiring SableArc Studios to redesign the exterior, which included adding a variety of heights and colours at the roof, the developer requested a height exemption to allow for a maximum of 57.8 feet.

Kevin Reynolds, director of planning, development and heritage, noted the actual roof height of the structure is only 53.4 feet, while any increases above that are parapet wall.

The other approved resolution increased the allowed front yard variance from 10 feet to 60 feet and six inches.

MacLean said while the variance seemed high, he noted it would allow for parking in the front for 26 vehicles (while the building will also have underground parking for 55).

“When you say 605 per cent it sounds drastic, but it really isn’t. They could actually have moved it up a bit closer and then you’d lose the trees,” said MacLean, adding that the proposal was well-received by the planning committee.

Reynolds said when the maximum front-yard setback was put in place in the waterfront core area, it was intended more for buildings that run perpendicular to the water.

“So, I think it was a bit of an oversight. These buildings (running parallel) to the water, would naturally be closer to the water,” he said.

A rear yard variance was also approved from 10 feet to four feet.

The rear setback is not for the actual structural wall of the building, but rather for two corner decks that stick out of the apartment.

The approval is subject to a number of conditions, including that the design and construction be in accordance with conceptual drawings submitted to the town.


Mitchell.macdonald@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/Mitch_PEI

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