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Tim Banks’ proposed apartment building in Charlottetown goes for final reading today

This is an artist rendering of the four-storey, 23-unit apartment building APM planned for 55 and 59 Richmond St. in Charlottetown. City council rejected the plan at its meeting on Monday, but APM president Tim Banks says he will appeal to IRAC.
This is an artist rendering of the four-storey, 23-unit apartment building APM planned for 55 and 59 Richmond St. in Charlottetown. City council rejected the plan at one meeting, but APM president Tim Banks brought it forward again. THE GUARDIAN - Submitted

The developer behind a proposed four-storey apartment building on Richmond Street in Charlottetown could get the green light today to break ground. 

That’s when city council is expected to give third and final reading of the zoning and development bylaw for a site specific amendment to the downtown neighbourhood zone.

It will include a minor variance to reduce the minimum frontage from 82 feet to 74.5 feet and a major variance to reduce the minimum grade level height from 13 feet to 9.5 feet to permit the 23-unit dwelling to proceed on the consolidated property at 55 and 59 Richmond St.

Tim Banks’ proposed apartment building passed first and second readings earlier this month, a process that has taken almost two years. Approval on third and final reading is normally a formality.

“I’m pleased we’ve got this far,’’ Banks said following first and second reading. “Now, the hard work begins to bring the project in on time and on budget. The on budget part of it is tough, simply because we’re nearly two years behind schedule.’’

Banks hopes to have the building ready for residents by next October.

The project has been fought every step of the way by residents in the Rochford condominiums right next door.

Condo president Daniel Hurnik didn’t have much to say when contacted by The Guardian on Friday.

“We are disappointed that the City of Charlottetown decided to support the developer’s plans over local residents,’’ Hurnik said.

In the past, Hurnik said condo residents had issues with parking and the close proximity with their building.

Banks has said parking is no issue.

Earlier this month, council voted on a resolution to enter into a 10-year off-lot parking agreement with the Pownal Parkade.

It has been a long process that saw Banks start from scratch after submitting his first application. Following that, council voted against allowing the project from proceeding to a public meeting, which caused Banks to file an appeal with IRAC, before later rescinding the decision.

One of the major concerns condo residents had was Banks’ proposal would have left only 12 inches between the balconies on the existing condominium building and the balconies on the proposed development. Although that would have been allowed in the existing bylaw, Banks took steps to address the concerns, including removing the bottom floor decks next to the condos.

Banks said he was also willing to move his building over another foot or so, if possible.

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