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8 Charlottetown homes approved for demolition

A developer's application to demolish eight homes on both Chestnut and Passmore Streets was approved by Charlottetown council Tuesday.

'They were ... almost ready to fall down,' says planning committe chair

A Charlottetown developer has been given permission from the city to demolish eight downtown homes. (CBC)

A developer's application to demolish eight homes on both Chestnut and Passmore Streets was approved by Charlottetown council Tuesday.

Developer Philip O'Halloran's long-term plan is to redevelop the area.

According to the city, most of the homes are vacant, and two currently have tenants.

O'Halloran held a neighbourhood meeting during the summer. Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the city's planning committee, and Mitch Tweel, the councillor for the ward where the properties are located, were given a tour of some of the properties at that time.

Coun. Greg Rivard says the condition of some of the properties in the summer was 'terrible.' (CBC)

"They were terrible. They were just, almost ready to fall down," said Rivard.

O'Halloran met with the city's planning board last week.

"And I guess the concern from the applicant at the time … was that these homes are kind of an invitation to folks who are looking to get out of the cold, in the wintertime and things like that nature," said Rivard. "But they weren't safe. So, you know, he felt that he had a bit of a liability there, and this is the reason why he wanted them torn down immediately."

Demolition could take place this winter.

'It's an amazing spot'

Amanda Ellis moved into one of the buildings still being rented out on Chestnut Street in October, knowing it was a temporary situation.

"I think the places with people in it, where they're paying their rent and keeping it up will be the last to go, so I'm confident I think I have the winter here. I hope I do anyways," said Ellis.

Amanda Ellis knew living in her Chestnut Street apartment was temporary. (CBC)

She loves the history behind the building, the cost of rent and the fact she can keep cats. The apartment's size allows Ellis to have a full music room where she and friends jam every week.

"It's the most beautiful place I've lived in, I think," she said. "It's an amazing spot."

Although there are no final plans yet, O'Halloran told CBC News he is working on plans to redevelop the sites. He said he's considering a mix of commercial and residential with a parking component, given the current shortage of downtown parking.

O'Halloran would first have to apply for zoning changes with the city and present plans at a public meeting, if not before that.

He said that is a long way off.

The idea of redevelopment was well-received at the meeting in the summer O'Halloran said.

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