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Townhouse, apartment development approval awaits at Summerside city council

Preliminary plans for a subdivision, Foxland Court, based off of MacEwen Road in Summerside.
Preliminary plans for a subdivision, Foxland Court, based off of MacEwen Road in Summerside. - Contributed
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

The hopeful developer of several townhouse and apartment units on MacEwen Road has passed another step.

Technical services staff from the City of Summerside recommended the application from Home Plus Real Estate Ltd. be approved by council at the city's planning board committee on Tuesday.

The land in question is 12.3 acres, and the developers have proposed subdividing the land into nine lots. Two lots are intended for townhouses (five units each), five lots are intended for a 24-unit apartment building and two lots used for two 24-unit apartment buildings.

In total there will be 216 units.

The report presented Tuesday stated, "the developer will concentrate on the construction of the proposed street, the two townhouses fronting MacEwen Road, and two of the 24 unit building on the proposed street. The remaining lots will be developed as the market demands."

The land has been zoned R4 since 1998, allowing the property owner to build a single-family dwelling up to R4 density on the property.

This is a portion of the land for the proposed subdivision. - Millicent McKay/The Guardian
This is a portion of the land for the proposed subdivision. - Millicent McKay/The Guardian

Coun. Greg Campbell, who represents the ward where the development is being proposed, expressed emotion over the development and how he and area residents were informed about it. He said he has tried for several years to learn details about it.

"It's has taken me by surprise and certainly to heck, it's taken the residents by surprise."

Because the land was already zoned R4, there wasn't a required public meeting or open house notice to be sent out, said Linda Stevenson a development officer with the city.

"In this case we've only met with developer/representative in the last couple of months. At that time, they were investigating what options they could do for development on this kind of site," said Aaron MacDonald, director of technical services.

He said developers had an "as of right to build up to R4 for the last 20 years".

Under the city's bylaws, parkland dedication is required for the development as a residential subdivision. In this case, city staff recommended the city accept cash-in-lieu as there is adequate parkland/greenspace in the area.

IMMEDIATE START

Coun. Norma McColeman said she wasn't opposed to the development but wanted to ensure it would happen in a timely fashion.

Stevenson said from the date it's approved by council the developers have 12 months to get started and that, with construction season coming up, they planned to start immediately.

"So, the developer's intention is to do to the units along MacEwen Road at this time and the first two buildings in on the street and the street will be cleared as well. Probably over the next three, four years, the rest of the buildings will go in."

Following the motion to move approval of the land subdivision to the next monthly council meeting, the planning board also voted on the development's proposed street name.

The developers have proposed the name Foxland Court for the subdivision. This name is not on the city's approved street name list.

The proposed name is to pay tribute to the former foxing industry in the area.

The name has been sent to emergency 911 and there is no conflict with anything in the neighbouring municipalities.

Coun. Brian McFeely chaired the Tuesday meeting and asked if there were any comments from councillors in attendance about the name.

"I really like the name, I think it does include our heritage. I think it was a unique name to come up with for that area," said Coun. Barb Ramsay.

Coun. Campbell had a different comment, "There's an old saying sly as a fox... that might have something to say about our developers."

@modernmillee

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