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Development plan rejected


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Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee goes over some paperwork during the regular meeting of city council Monday night.

A Charlottetown landowner said Tuesday he still wants to develop 27 acres of property in East Royalty despite the fact his proposal was rejected by city council Monday night.

Cecil MacLauchlan had asked council permission to develop on a large vacant field across St. Peter’s Road from Mel’s Quick Mart.

His proposal called for a mix of small businesses, condominiums, semi-detached houses and single-family homes. It was the second time MacLauchlan had submitted the proposal to the city.

However, council voted 7-2 against the idea. Only Couns. Rob Lantz and Jason Coady voted in favour of the project.

The gallery inside council chambers was packed with residents, most of whom came to oppose the plan.

Coun. Terry Bernard, who represents the area, led the argument against the project.

“Part of the problem is you have a piece of land zoned residential only and you have a number of people in the area,’’ Bernard said following council’s monthly public meeting. “When they purchased their homes they would have done their homework and they would have seen the Official Plan (called for the area) to be zoned R1S (residential).’’

Bernard said concerns ranged from the amount of traffic that was going to flow through the area to a lack of access off St. Peter’s Road.

Coun. Mitchell Tweel said he wants to see the parties come together and find a solution.

“I’m looking for a win-win situation,’’ Tweel said. “Let’s try and see if we can bring both sides (developer and residents) together.’’

That’s music to MacLauchlan’s ears.

“If the people aren’t impressed with having commercial, well, that’s fine, we’ll have to go the other way,’’ MacLauchlan said Tuesday.

MacLauchlan said he’s willing to remove the commercial aspect from his proposal.

“I would think if we can come back now and find something that can work for everybody (that would be ideal). The land is here in the community and if it’s going to grow we’ll have to have something.’’

MacLauchlan said he remains determined to develop the 27 acres.

“I certainly think if the city is going to get a tax base something has to grow. There’s only two ways for a city to get money as far as I know and that’s taxes or stealing and I prefer if we weren’t stealing.’’

MacLauchlan purchased the land from Doug Parkman, whose family farmed 68 acres of that land for almost a century. Parkman was at Monday night’s meeting.

“Doug knows there is going to be development on the property,’’ MacLauchlan said. “He’s like the rest of us, he just wants to see it done and done right.’’

Coun. Rob Lantz, chair of the planning committee which recommended council accept the proposal, said he appreciates the residents’ frustration in having to come back and oppose it a second time but that his committee felt the developer did everything he was asked to and that all the necessary procedures (i.e. traffic study) were done.

Lantz added that because the land is comprehensive development area that the city would have some control over how the property was developed.

Bernard said Lantz is right but that 80 per cent of the residents he talked to felt very strongly that the area remain residential only.

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