Charlottetown developer Tim Banks officially received the green light Monday to proceed with an apartment building at 55 and 59 Richmond St.
City council gave third and final reading to the zoning and development bylaw for a site-specific amendment to the downtown neighbourhood zone.
The amendment will see a minor variance to reduce the minimum frontage from 82 feet to 74.5 feet and a major variance to reduce the minimum grave level height from 13 feet to 9.5 feet to permit a four-storey, 23-unit dwelling on the consolidated property.
Third and final reading is historically a formality to approval, and it was no different in this case.
Council chambers were empty for the final reading, except for the five councillors there for the vote.
Residents in the next-door Rochford condominiums, who had fought this project tooth and nail over the past couple of years, didn’t show up.
Even Banks himself was absent.
“There is really not a lot to add,’’ said Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the planning and heritage committee.
As for what happens now, there is still a process to go through.
“(Banks) will have to come in for a (building) permit and he has to go through design review as part of the process because he’s in the 500 lot area.’’
The vote on final reading was 4-1 with councillors Rivard, Terry MacLeod, Kevin Ramsay and Jason Coady voting in favour of the proposal.
The lone dissenter was Deputy Mayor Mike Duffy.
“My concern is that there is 23 units there and there is not one on-site parking spot,’’ Duffy told The Guardian following the vote. “There are 13 parking spots up in the Pownal Parkade up around the corner, but I can’t foresee that being very practical.’’
Earlier this month, council voted on a resolution to enter into a 10-year off-lot parking agreement with the Pownal Parkade.
Duffy doesn’t see that solving anything.
“They may park there during the evenings but during the daytime you’ll have cars parking on Richmond Street. I’m in and out of my place a lot during the run of a day. I can’t see somebody parking in the Pownal Parkade eight, nine times a day and running back down to the apartment.
“I see them parking there, maybe, at night, and during the winter time, but it’s a very narrow street, Richmond Street, and I just don’t think it’s good development for the property.’’