Peter Poirier says it just doesn’t make any sense to build a 41-unit apartment building on Pine Drive in Charlottetown.
Poirier, who lives close to the proposed project, was one of about a dozen people who spoke at a public meeting Tuesday at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel over a request 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 with 11 and 13 Pine Dr. in order to construct the apartment building.
About 40 people attended the public meeting.
Poirier pointed out that APM, one of the developers on this project, already has plans to build 300 units over the next decade just off Towers Road, which is close to the Pine Drive proposed project.
“I don’t understand the need for a 41-unit building in the middle of a residential area,’’ Poirier said, adding that all of the homes on Pine Drive and in the surrounding area are single-family homes. “The scale doesn’t fit. It just doesn’t fit.’’
APM is a partner on this project along with Bevan Enterprises. Three years ago, they wanted to build a 27-unit apartment complex at 11 and 13 Pine Dr. but the request was rejected by city planning staff. It was appealed to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission,which also rejected the project. Since then, the developer has acquired the neighbouring property at 9 Pine Dr.
Philip Carr, who has lived on nearby MacMillan Crescent for the past 40 years, said the proposed apartment doesn’t fit with the streetscape and the scale doesn’t fit the neighbourhood.
Carr said with 41 units, he wonders how the compost and waste bins will be handled. On pick-up day, he said he fears all of them being lined up along the property line of neighbouring properties.
Carr said residents were opposed to the 27-unit project they proposed three years ago and aren’t any more happy with an extra 14 units this time.
“Your math is skewed there,’’ Carr said. “Why do you think we’re here again? Because it is wrong.’’
11 and 13 Pine Dr. were zoned R-3, allowing for apartments, by council when amalgamation took place in 1995. Carr said that is a mistake that should be corrected.
Other speakers said they worry about the apartment building towering over their homes, the lack of privacy, water runoff and the increase in traffic on Pine Drive and surrounding streets/.
Cain Arsenault from APM gave an opening presentation, saying their vision for the building is that it provides a place to go for people who want to move out of their homes but not out of the community. While The Guardian previously reported this project would be two buildings, Arsenault said the buildings are actually adjoined.
Arsenault said there will be much more green space with this proposal than there was with the previous one and the project features underground parking.
He also said it will help address the city’s vacancy issue and fills a void of limited seniors’ housing although some of the residents at the meeting pointed out that these are market units and not affordable for seniors on fixed incomes.
The city’s planning department is accepting feedback on this proposal until noon on Wednesday. Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The planning and heritage committee will discuss the issue at its meeting on Monday and council could render its decision at its next public meeting on Monday, March 9.