The developer behind a proposed four-storey apartment building on Richmond Street is one step closer to breaking ground in a project that is now close to two years behind schedule.
Tim Banks, CEO of APM, said he was pleased to see Charlottetown council pass the first two readings of a resolution during Tuesday’s meeting to permit construction of the 23-unit apartment building.
Getting this far with the proposal has been a drawn-out process that has taken almost two years.
“I’m pleased we’ve got this far,” said Banks, who hopes have the building ready for residents by next October. “Now the hard work begins to bring the project in on time and on budget. The on budget part of it is tough, simply because we’re nearly two years behind schedule.”
Council voted 5-2 on a resolution that would consolidate 55 and 59 Richmond St., enter into a 10-year off-lot parking agreement with the Pownal Parkade and obtain a site specific bylaw amendment for variances to reduce the required frontage and minimum grade level height.
The resolution will now require a third reading from council.
Coun. Greg Rivard, who chairs the planning board, said it has been a long process that saw Banks having to “start from scratch” after submitting his first application.
Following that, council voted against allowing the project from proceeding to a public meeting, which caused Banks to file an appeal with IRAC, before later rescinding the decision.
One of the major concerns was Banks’ proposal would have left only about 12 inches between the balconies on the existing condominium building and the balconies on the proposed development.
Although that would have been allowed in the existing bylaw, Rivard said Banks has taken steps to address concerns, including removing the bottom floor decks next to the condos.
“There have been lots of changes along the way to this project,” said Rivard. “I totally understand the concerns of the condo residents, but developers have rights as well.”
Coun. Mitch Tweel and Coun. Mike Duffy both voted against the resolution.
Coun. Terry Bernard requested that Banks look at moving the building away from the condos several more feet but said he still supported the project. Bernard also introduced a motion to defer the resolution to next month’s council meeting, but it was defeated 4-3.
Banks said he felt Bernard’s request was reasonable but that moving the building too much would then require another public meeting and request for a variance.
However, he said he was open to moving the building over another foot or so, if possible.
“If we can do that, we’ll do it,” said Banks. “It’s all about trying to work with people… we’re really not trying to shove something down their throats. We believe what we’re doing is going to bring value to the neighbours, and I hope they’re pleased with what we do.”