Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Brookside Drive Condos get green light
(Excerpts from article published by the Daily Gleaner, August 10/10)

Brookside Drive-area residents lost out in their bid to block a 36-unit condominium development at 195 Brookside Dr. Despite a lengthy petition and 10 letters of concern to DRC Developments Ltd.'s application by the neighbourhood, the project was approved seven to two at Monday's night's regular city council meeting.

Coun. Bruce Grandy and Coun. Eric Megarity opposed developer Robert Colter's request to change R-2 single family residential to a higher density R-6 zone to permit the condominium development to be located in two three-storey buildings.

Grandy said Colter's plan was good because he was trying to offer a mix of housing types, but he added the transition between single-family homes on Rose Court and Brookside Drive is just too dramatic. "I think Mr. Colter's proposal is a sound and good one, but unfortunately because of where the R-6 units are, it doesn't transition well for me." Colter plans to develop 12 single-family housing lots on one corner of the vacant parcel of land he purchased at 195 Brookside Dr.

Megarity said when residents purchase property that's zoned for single family - and surrounded by other lands zoned for single family - council should respect that.

Coun. Mike O'Brien said the developer addressed concerns raised by residents. He's agreed to add more trees to the site and to consult a professional forester on protecting the tree buffer during construction.
O'Brien said Brookside Drive, which carries 8,000 cars daily, can easily handle another 340 cars from the condo units and 12 houses proposed by the builder.

"Our city is growing and we're running out of space for new development," O'Brien said. "We need this additional mix of housing type and affordable housing." O'Brien said if the city doesn't provide suitable housing for people, they'll move to outside the city. "The development meets the spirit and intent of the municipal plan," O'Brien said.

Coun. Tony Whalen said he has examples in his Skyline Acres ward of residential houses next door to apartment buildings with a smaller tree buffer than is being proposed for the Brookside Drive project. "With the buffer, it will fit very nicely in the neighbourhood," Whalen said.

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