New Brunswick

Residents worry about parking at former Moncton High School building

Residents who live near the former Moncton High School attended a community meeting Monday night to discuss a rezoning application for the property. The developer wants to rezone the land to allow for commercial tenants like a call centre.

Many residents say they want to keep the neighbourhood family friendly

A new entrance is being planned for the north side of the former Moncton High School building. The commercial areas and arts areas will have separate entrances. (Submitted)

Residents who live near the former Moncton High School came to a community meeting Wednesday night to discuss a rezoning application for the property.

The developer, Heritage Developments Limited, wants to rezone the land from community use to mixed use, allowing for commercial tenants like a call centre. The new development is also expected to include non-profit arts and cultural organizations.

The former high school currently has about 100 parking spaces, but the new property owner is requesting the addition of 351 stalls to the lot adjoining the school property, and the creation of a 559 space parking lot further down Church Street on the school's former football field.

About 50 residents attended the information session at Resurgo Place.

Don Steeves, who lives in the area, says it was good to have a closer look at the information, which included charts and pictures, but he still has concerns.

Don Steeves is worried about increased traffic flow in his neighbourhood. (Kate Letterick/CBC News)

"Parking is a concern, traffic flow is a concern and the fact that yeah we want to see the building developed we're hoping to see it developed into an arts centre but the business portion of it is still up in the air," he said. "The parking is the biggest issue, I think."

Lillie Doucet has lived in the neighbourhood for 25 years. She's also worried about the effect of the additional parking spaces on the small neighbourhood.

Lillie Doucet has lived in the neighbourhood near the former Moncton High School building for 25 years. (Kate Letterick/CBC News)

"Right now what we're seeing is a lot of young families that are there with a lot of children playing in the park," she said.

"We're seeing a renewal of our community … and with the increased traffic we're not going to be able to encourage young families to stay in that community and I think that's a shame because it's a wonderful thing to be seeing that again."

Eric Babineau attended the meeting with his wife, Kate Doyle and four-year-old daughter, Annette. He wants to keep the neighbourhood family-friendly.

Eric Babineau attended the meeting with his wife Kate Doyle and their four-year-old daughter Annette. Babineau says he wants to keep the neighbourhood family friendly. (Kate Letterick/CBC News)

"We're just concerned about what's going to happen with our neighbourhood," said Babineau.

"A lot of families live in the neighbourhood … and we already see cars that are trying to beat the lights and taking the short cuts and speeding through those residential areas so that's just going to multiply and we want to look out for our families."

Senior city planner Sebastien Arcand said the city wanted to give residents a chance to get more information and ask questions before the formal rezoning hearing.

He says he has received some letters from people concerned about parking and there's still time for people to voice their opinions.

Moncton's senior city planner Sebastien Arcand talks to residents at the meeting. (Kate Letterick/CBC News )

"What they can do is write their concerns to the city clerk and those will be part of the official record and will be shared with council," Arcand said.

A public hearing to consider written objections to the proposed changes will be held at city hall on Nov. 6 at 5 p.m.

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