A request to add six more units to a proposed apartment building on Mersey Avenue is raising concerns for neighbours.
On March 11, the Region of Queens sent out notices to people living with 100 ft. of the development property line advising they had 14 days to express any objections with the additional units.
Mayor Darlene Norman says she’s pleased to see plans to create more living space downtown.
“People want services. They want to be close to infrastructure. The land is there. They could be building the same size building with 30 units. They’ve simply asked for six additional units within that size,” said Norman.
Regional council voted in 2017 to amend the land use bylaw in to allow the construction of up to 30 units in a building without going through public consultation.
Norman says public notice was given at the time and people came to council to express their views. Ultimately, the decision was made and the provincial government approved the bylaw change on May 31 of that year.
Region staff can approve a variance to allow an additional 50 per cent more units to be built but must allow time for neighbouring residents to appeal that decision.
Upper Deck Developments owns the waterfront property in question, behind Bristol Hall, formerly known as Dean Manor.
President of Upper Deck Developments Jonathan Lloy says he doesn’t have much detail to offer at the moment as they’re trying to determine the potential of the property.
Lloy says the public and government have a legitimate voice in all of this and once he has more information he will share it with the public.
He says openness is important and there is no invisible guiding hand behind their plans.
“I would certainly encourage people to keep an open mind until they get some of these details and maybe can decide a bit more for themselves how they feel about it,” said Lloy.
There’s been much speculation on social media as to whether the building will be geared towards seniors or low-income housing but the primary concern for many is the congestion adding 36 units would create on an already busy Bristol Avenue.
Lloy couldn’t comment directly on any of those issues and expects to have a better idea of their plans to share in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, neighbours have until March 25 to submit their appeal to the municipality.
Council will hear from the appellants in person at the April 13 council meeting and will decide at that time whether permission to build the extra six units will be granted.
Reported by Ed Halverson
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