42-unit apartment building in Quispamsis faces growing opposition
Opponents of building start petition to council
Opponents of a three-storey apartment building in Quispamsis have mounted a campaign they hope will persuade council to deny rezoning Hampton Road land for the project.
"I can't imagine it ever getting approved," said Geraldine Black, a resident who has organized a petition against the apartments proposed for 309 Hampton Rd.
Before council can vote on the rezoning, A.E. McKay Builders will have the opportunity to present its design of the building and respond to concerns at a public meeting in council chambers on May 1.
The town's planning advisory committee has already approved the rezoning application, subject to certain conditions.
In his correspondence with the Saint John-area town, company president Andrew McKay said the building will have underground parking, elevator service and "beautiful landscaping."
The drawings show an L-shaped structure with outdoor balconies, about 200 feet by 90 feet on a 1.8-acre lot that fronts directly onto Hampton Road.
Black, who has lived on Haslett Road since 1976 and raised her five children there, said her main concern is what will happen when 42 occupants or more bring their vehicles into the mix.
She said mornings are already congested, with traffic trying to get into Quispamsis Elementary School, almost directly across the street.
There are also two daycares nearby.
"I think what should go in there, what would be very nice, would be cottage homes, not a building with 42 units," she told CBC News.
Deadline to meet
The conditions imposed by the planning advisory committee say all on-site lighting must be directed downward and the development must connect to municipal water and sewer systems.
Gary Losier, director of engineering and works for Quispamsis, said the project is now at the public hearing stage.
Notifications went out to neighbours living within a 30-metre radius of the proposal.
May 1 will provide an opportunity for all sides to meet.
Losier said adding diversity to the town's housing stock does fit in with the municipal plan.
"Obviously, you want to keep your residents in your community," he said.
"And with an apartment building, you have the ability now to hit not only the entrance market, but also maybe the people that are downsizing but still want to stay in the community."
"Quispamsis is 90 per cent residential and of that 90 per cent, the bulk of it is single-family residential."
According to documents in the town's agenda posted online, 309 Hampton Rd. is owned by Tom Daly.
McKay Builders said it is acting as an agent on behalf of Bella Panjwani, who will own the property when it's complete.
Calls to Panjwani, who has a dental practice in Saint John, were not returned Wednesday.