Stratford town council has called a public meeting to discuss a proposed 56-unit, four-storey affordable housing apartment building on Dale Drive.
Pan American Properties wants to rezone four parcels of land (comprised of a total of 4.05 acres) to construct the building.
Of the 56 planned units, 30 of them would be affordable housing units.
Mayor Steve Ogden said even though council doesn’t have to hold a public meeting on the issue it was felt one was necessary.
“It’s at the discretion of council but . . . I went to every house in Stratford during the election campaign and I just discovered that one of the key things that people want is to be able to be informed about things happening in their backyard,’’ Ogden said. “It is really important that we let people know even though it’s not legally required that we do that.’’
The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m. at Stratford Town Hall.
Ogden said the town is sending out letters to people who live within 500 feet of the proposed development but welcomes all residents, especially those who are interested in the affordable housing issue, which was one of the top election issues in the greater Charlottetown area.
Council also revised part of its grants and donations bylaw to allow for a rebate on the full amount of the municipal property tax for the first 10 years after a building is constructed on it that receives a federal or provincial rent subsidy, capital grant or operating grant for affordable housing.
Ogden said the proposed project is a good first step.
“We’re hopeful that it will go some ways to meeting the need and also serve as a good first step. I mean, more is required, but we’ll certainly want to provide incentives and do as much as we can to help facilitate affordable housing and affordability in Stratford because that’s a real issue with people.
Pan American Properties is also seeking a height-restriction exemption. The town prohibits anything over 40 feet in a mixed-use zone while Pan American’s proposal calls for 55 feet.
Ogden said that’s because the proposal calls for a peaked roof, which the mayor finds more aesthetically appealing.
“We really welcome any affordable housing initiatives,’’ he said. “Obviously, it has to be compatible with the nature of the neighbourhood and it has to be something that meets the needs . . . of the town.’’
Other council news:
- Turner Drake & Partners was awarded the RFP to assist the town with the valuation, selection and acquisition of the land required for a school/sports campus
- The town received more than 90 applications this fall through a public application process to fill the special and sub-committees mandated to assist council in its work and deliberations
- Committee members were approved for two-year terms which end Nov. 30, 2020
- The remaining applicants will be approached to serve on a citizens reference panel which will be used throughout the year to advise council on special one-off projects and initiatives