The rezoning for three plots of land on West Drive in Summerside, P.E.I. was denied by council Monday night, but not before some back and forth.
The proposal was to rezone three properties on West Drive to high density residential, from the current urban reserve zone.
'They were not against the development, as we're not against the development.' — Coun. Tylier DesRoches
At the meeting the majority of councillors brought up that many neighbours were against the rezoning. A group of residents came to a meeting to voice their concerns about the development and the fact that they didn't know what the owner planned to put on the land. Many councillors also felt that since there was no plan for what the land will be used for, they could not support the application.
Coun. Tyler DesRoches said that recently some rezoning requests have not come with a plan attached, and he thinks that should change. Currently there is no requirement from the city to have a plan for what you want to use the land for when applying for rezoning, but recently another development was denied for similar reasons.
"The residents, they buy their home, they build a home with the understanding of what's going to be around them," said DesRoches
If the land was to be rezoned to high density residential (R4) there would be 12 permitted uses, everything from single family homes to apartments to boarding houses or social service agencies. Under the current zoning of urban reserve , it is mostly agricultural type of uses permitted along with single-family dwellings. The unknown of the project is what concerned most of the neighbours, said DesRoches.
"The residents that were here, they were not against the development, as we're not against the development. They just like to know what was going forward," he said, adding if the owner came with a proposal in hand it might have helped.
Not all against
Coun. Brent Gallant disagreed, Gallant said council should be following the process it always has.
"The process that we use, and have used, is one that allows for requests to come forward and be duly voted upon. It was researched by staff, supported by staff, it was supported by the planning committee."
Gallant thinks asking everyone to come up with a building plan is asking too much.
"When one goes forward to do something like that there you could spend an enormous about of money on a development plan," he said
"If it's not approved then you have a lost that."
Gallant added that when a developer wants to subdivide the land for use then more details of what the development will be come forward to be voted on by council.
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