Proposed apartment building sparks debate in Sherwood

A debate is brewing in the quiet suburban neighborhood of Sherwood over a proposed 24-unit apartment building.

A debate is brewing in the quiet suburban neighborhood of Sherwood over a proposed 24-unit apartment building.

Bevan Enterprises wants to tear down an existing five-unit building on Pine Drive and build a new, larger complex which the developer says would be senior-friendly.

But some of the residents of Pine Drive, which currently has mostly older bungalows, are opposed to the idea.

"For one thing it'll lower the property value," said Kathy Larsen, who lives next door to the proposed site with her husband Louis in the bungalow they built in 1963.

"We had a realtor come out last week and he said it would lower the property value, or make it harder to sell," she said.

"Also, Pine Drive is very busy, people driving their kids to school. There'll be 24-plus cars next door."

The Larsens are also concerned about noise, the smell from multiple garbage cans, and the size of the building.

"It's all single dwellings around here, It's going to be three-storeys high, 24 apartments, it’s just going to be out of place," said Larsen.

Developer surprised

Developer Wayne Bevan told CBC News he was surprised city council decided to hold a public meeting to get input on his proposal.

He said he bought the property in question last fall, knowing it’s already zoned for a multi-unit apartment.

Bevan has applied for a permit to demolish the existing five-unit building and to construct a new, 24-unit complex.

The city's planning board will decide whether to recommend the proposal go ahead. Then the decision will go to a city council vote, likely in May.

Bevan, who has already spent money on surveys and architects, contends he's within his rights to build the larger complex.

"It’s zoned properly for the use they want to use it for," said Coun. Rob Lantz, who is also chair of the planning and heritage committee.

But the city could still turn down Bevan’s proposed, based on a couple of grounds, he said.

"There are areas of the Charlottetown official plan and the zoning and development bylaw that speak to architectural harmony, the scale and character of neighborhoods," said Lantz.

"Some would say it's out of scale and character with the neighbourhood."

Council’s decision could be appealed to the Island Regulators and Appeals Commission.