A proposed 41-unit apartment building on Pine Drive received final approval from Charlottetown city council on Monday.
Council voted 5-3 in favour of second and final reading at its regular public monthly meeting.
It ends months of debates and deferrals. Council already approved the project in June but it still needed to get through first and second reading, a formality in most cases but no so much here.
In June, council approved a request to amendments to rezone 9 Pine Dr. from single-detached residential to medium density and to amend the Official Plan from low density to medium density in order to consolidate it with 11 and 13 Pine Dr.
Pine Cone Developments, a partnership between APM and Bevan Enterprises, is the developer behind the project.
Cain Arsenault, who works with APM, said he’s happy a majority of council had a fresh set of eyes and foresight to move the city forward rather than hold it back.
“Regardless of a housing crisis it’s developments like this one that are a valued addition to any city wanting to improve, draw investment and make great things happen,’’ Arsenault told The Guardian following Monday’s vote.
Coun. Mitchell Tweel tried unsuccessfully Monday to have second and final reading deferred so a last-ditch effort could be made to get the residents and the developer together. Tweel and councillors Jason Coady and Kevin Ramsay voted against second reading.
“I’m looking for a way because of all the emails I’ve received (from residents),’’ Tweel said. “I believe we owe it to the community. What’s the rush? Maybe, just maybe, we can bring the residents and the developer together. Just maybe there are some options that may be examined; some options that could be pursued; some options that can be explored.’’
Coun. Mike Duffy pointed out that the matter was deferred in March to give Pine Cone Developments a chance to meet with area residents and find a compromise but residents refused unless the developer took the 41-unit project off the table.
“It was a stalemate so why would we call for another deferral?’’ Duffy said.
Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the planning and heritage committee, said council is going down a slippery slope if it agrees to go back to public consultation after it has already approved the rezoning and first reading.
“We’d be walking on pretty thin ice because we’ve already gone through public consultation, gone to a council vote, had the first reading,’’ Rivard said.
Even Karen Campbell, the city’s solicitor, admitted it would be an unusual move.
Ramsay said while he admits he’s opposed to the project council has done all it can.
“What’s going to come of a public meeting now?’’ Ramsay said.
Now that the project has received all necessary approvals at the council level, residents can appeal to matter to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.