Duckworth development needs one less storey, Marie Ryan says
A report on a controversial downtown St. John's development partially approves of the building plans, but recommends one of the proposed buildings lose a storey.
The project, referred to by developers as Light House, would see two new buildings on Duckworth Street.
Some residents in the downtown area were upset with city council's approval of the original plan in October, citing concern over the loss of historic value.
Commissioner Marie Ryan said in the report she agrees with many aspects of the project, but added a hotel proposed for the top of Hill O'Chips should be five storeys high, instead of the six storeys the developer wanted.
"It is important to note that the City has clearly identified specific areas on the west end of Water and Duckworth Streets as being amenable to and available for higher buildings — over and above the traditional four-storey maximum allowed for most areas east on these downtown streets," said Ryan in the report.
"Your Commissioner believes that the area on the east end of Duckworth Street, specifically east of Wood Street and East of Hill O’Chips also is similarly amenable for somewhat higher buildings."
Ryan also supported a plan to demolish the old East End Fire Station and replace it with a five-storey building that would include parking and residential units.
She added in the report there is a clear division between the new and modern parts of downtown and the older historic features that council needs to recognize.
"Your Commissioner respectfully suggests that Council consider this delineation between the two distinct areas and ensure ongoing efforts to maintain the older, historic neighbourhood on Duckworth Street, west of and including Wood Street and west of Hill O’Chips. There is a natural boundary between the older and newer/higher buildings and houses," said Ryan.
Council will review the report Tuesday and decide whether to accept the recommendations made in the report, or move ahead with the original plan approved in February.