Moncton OK's 'huge' north end development
Moncton-based Cordova Realty plans to construct six six-storey buildings over five to 10 years
Moncton council has approved a large residential development with multiple six-storey buildings in the city's booming northwest after hearing no objections from neighbours at a meeting Monday.
Councillors voted unanimously to approve bylaws that will allow Cordova Realty Ltd. to construct up to 519 residential units along Twin Oaks Drive.
"This is one of the city's fastest growing areas and it is urbanizing," Bill Budd, the city's director of urban planning, said Monday while outlining the plans as part of a public hearing.
Cordova plans to build six multi-unit apartment buildings and two townhouse buildings on the 13.2 acre site. Two of the multi-unit buildings near the Ryan Street roundabout would include some commercial space.
John McManaman, Cordova's president and CEO, said in an interview that the company plans to start construction on the first 100-unit building next spring. Construction is expected to take place in four phases over five to 10 years.
"It'll be more of a luxury product," McManaman said of the apartments. He said the company sees demand in the area for retirees looking to downsize, but live in a building with lots of amenities.
Mayor Dawn Arnold described the scale of the development as "huge" in a Facebook post after the meeting.
While large developments regularly result in opposition during public hearings, Monday's meeting saw no one speaking against the plans and no written objections.
Much of the surrounding area consists of single-family homes and duplexes. The property is directly across the street from École Le Sommet and a new YMCA that's under construction.
McManaman said the company worked with the city and an urban planner to reduce the impact on existing properties by exceeding building setback requirements and planning water retention areas that will essentially serve as park space.
The city's approval includes conditions to maintain a seven metre landscaped buffer behind homes on Whisperwood Drive.
Budd said the city heard from some residents who voiced concerns about a landscaped buffer.
"Once they saw the buffer, a lot of the residents indicated that they didn't have any concerns," Budd told council.
A staff report says notices about the rezoning for the company's plans was mailed to 78 addresses within 100 metres of the property. As well, signs were posted on the site about the rezoning.
"I understand that this is a unique situation, it seems that we don't have any objectors at this time," Arnold said during the meeting.
A traffic study of the plans concluded the existing road network is adequate to deal with increased traffic from new residents, though calls for a new crosswalk where Holland Drive will intersect with Twin Oaks.
As well, it says the roundabout may begin to reach its capacity in about 10 years, which may prompt the need to add right turn bypass lanes for eastbound and northbound traffic.
Through a development charge bylaw approved earlier this year, the company will pay the city thousands of dollars to cover its cost to connect Twin Oaks Drive to the roundabout.
Coun. Bryan Butler, whose ward includes the planned development, said he typically hears from neighbours, but hadn't heard from anyone about Cordova's plans.
"I think they're top notch," Butler said.
He said the growth in his ward should prompt the province and school districts to look at adding a high school in the area.
Moncton-based Cordova has developed various commercial projects in the city over the years, but has over the past year or so outlined plans for large residential developments in Moncton and Riverview.
McManaman said the pandemic hasn't affected the company's construction plans, though it has made getting some building materials like lumber more difficult and expensive.
McManaman said he couldn't offer a rough estimate of the cost of the planned Twin Oaks development until building designs are more complete.