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Residents of Charlottetown apartment building meet with mayor, councillor over concerns about proposed eight-storey project

Killam Apartment Reit wants to construct an eight-storey apartment building on the Charlottetown waterfront between the Renaissance Place apartment building, left, and the Culinary Institute of Canada.
Killam Apartment Reit wants to construct an eight-storey apartment building on the Charlottetown waterfront between the Renaissance Place apartment building, left, and the Culinary Institute of Canada. - Google image
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Residents of an apartment building on the Charlottetown waterfront want answers about a proposed $30-million, eight-storey apartment building that is expected to be erected between their building and the waterfront.

Killam Apartment Reit purchased 1.9 acres of land in 2018 between Renaissance Place and the water’s edge with plans to construct an apartment building that would include 99 units.

Because of zoning passed by the previous city council six years ago, the building is as-of-right, meaning it does not require council approval to go ahead and Killam is not required to hold a public meeting on the issue.

This is an artist concept drawing of the proposed eight-storey, 99-unit apartment building for Haviland Street in Charlottetown.  - Contributed
This is an artist concept drawing of the proposed eight-storey, 99-unit apartment building for Haviland Street in Charlottetown. - Contributed

However, residents of a neighbouring apartment building, Renaissance Place, held their own meeting Monday night that included Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown and Coun. Alanna Jankov, who represents the area.

Renaissance Place residents say their main concerns include environmental, traffic and safety issues as well as the impact the proposed building would have on the surrounding neighbourhood and the loss of parking spaces for their own building.

When it comes to the environment, the residents question the decision of putting the proposed 99-unit apartment building so close to the water. 


List of concerns

Following are some of the concerns outlined by residents of Renaissance Place:

  • Access to the construction site could interfere with access of emergency vehicles.
  • Impact proposed building will have on the waterfront.
  • Height of the building will dwarf those around it.
  • Loss of parking spaces at Renaissance Place
  • Impact the proposed building will have on the boardwalk.

Developer Tim Banks, a trustee/director with Killam, has said in the past the project is taking shoreline stabilization into account and will include a back-flow system.

The city’s planning department has also told the residents group that the developer knows the setback requirements imposed by the province for coastal areas.

Alex Forbes, manager of the department, told residents in an email that staff will ensure when a building permit is issued that the development meets the coastal setback requirement as well as all other zoning and building requirements.

Residents also raised concerns over traffic issues, explaining that there is only one way in and one way out onto the site of the proposed building and that’s through the driveway to the parking lot at Renaissance Place. Residents point out many of the people who live in the building are seniors and they want to make sure there is access for fire and ambulance vehicles.

Doug MacArthur, a retired planner who is helping the residents, said it was interesting to hear Brown say a building permit hasn’t been approved yet, meaning it can still be appealed through the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission. However, the mayor also noted that stopping the project is all but impossible due to the building is as-of-right.

“I think the mayor sees himself caught between a rock and a hard place," said MacArthur, who has also launched a Stop Killam P.E.I. website that goes into more of the issues he has with the project

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