Nova Scotia

Wolfville apartment development fails green test

A 38-unit apartment building proposed for downtown Wolfville has been rejected in the first test of town development rules that now apply sustainability as a litmus test for approval.

 A 38-unit apartment building proposed for downtown Wolfville has been rejected in the first test of town development rules that now apply sustainability as a litmus test for approval.

A numbered company, headed by Halifax developer Noel Taiani, has appealed Wolfville's Sept. 19 decision to refuse a development agreement.

Taiani wanted to build an apartment building on Gaspereau Avenue. He declined to comment Tuesday on the case to CBC News.

In late September, the town told the developer his proposal was refused on the grounds it was not consistent with a new municipal planning strategy adopted in 2008.

"The proposal does not make appropriate consideration for energy conservation," town clerk Rachel Turner wrote to Taiani.

Council also found that the development "does not provide sufficient on site open space, recreation space and recreation facilities."

The proposal was also turned down because it did not include an affordable housing component.

The town pleaded poverty in its decision.

"The town does not have the financial ability to absorb capital and maintenance costs that will be required to provided adequate infrastructure for the safe movement of pedestrians from the development," Turner wrote to Taiani.

Wolfville Mayor Bob Stead said the lack of sidewalks was one factor in the refusal.

"The developer was only willing to build a sidewalk in front of his property. But it would require us to link them up with existing sidewalks," Stead said.

"That was one factor; it was not the only factor."

A town official estimated the cost of the sidewalks at a minimum $50,000.

It was estimated that the development would generate $30,000 a year in property taxes. A report prepared for Wolfville has estimated its infrastructure deficit at $13 million.

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