Some residents say not enough notice given for meeting over controversial new road

Some residents in the East Royalty neighbourhood of Charlottetown are upset with the notice given to let them know about a public meeting on rezoning a parcel of land. They say there wasn't sufficient notice but the city says it did everything required.

City says it did everything required under bylaws to notify residents

Laura Morgan says she only had five days' notice about the meeting, which she doesn't feel is enough time to register to attend and prepare for it. (Tony Davis/CBC)

Some Charlottetown residents are upset over what they feel is a lack of notice from the city about an upcoming public meeting.

The meeting is being held on Tuesday to allow for public input on a plan to add a road just off St. Peters Road that would connect Mel's Convenience Store to Angus Drive.

The road is proposed to run through a vacant lot next to Mel's.

There is a laminated yellow notice posted on the lot by the city, attached to a tree in the middle of the vacant property. 

Some residents are upset that a public notice was posted to a tree in the middle of the property and wasn't legible from the road. (Tony Davis/CBC)

"It's not legible at all from the road," said Laura Morgan, who lives on Angus Drive.

She is concerned the new road would lead to increased traffic and noise and hurt property values in the area.

'Climb through the ditch'

She found out about the meeting from a neighbour who had seen the sign on the tree. 

"I had to climb through the ditch, through the snow, up to the sign," to read it, she said.

Morgan said she got a letter from the city in the mail notifying her about the meeting, but she didn't receive it until last Thursday, March 18.

The deadline to register to attend the meeting in person was March 19 — which to Morgan is not a lot of advance notice to register and prepare for the meeting.

"It seems like very little was done to notify people," Morgan said.

The proposed access road across a vacant property would connect Mel's Convenience Store to Angus Drive and some traffic back to St. Peters Road by a new roundabout to be built this summer. (CBC News Graphics)

The city, however, said it did everything required to notify people in the area, including posting on its website, advertising the public meeting in the local newspaper and mailing notices March 11 to everyone living within 100 metres of the proposed rezoning. 

The bylaw requires the city post the notice on the property, which can be challenging for city staff when the property is a vacant field, said Alex Forbes, manager of planning and heritage for the city.

"They try their best to find whatever piece of infrastructure they can post the sign on that's the most visible to the public," he said.

'Encouraging people to participate'

If residents have concerns, they can attend the meeting in person, or write a letter to the city, said Forbes.

"Those notices … are fairly detailed and they are encouraging people to participate, at least to find out more information," he said. 

The letters to those living nearby and the public notes provided information on how to participate, and how to write a letter of objection if residents wish to. Those need to be received by March 24.

The city posted notices in the newspaper and on the vacant lot, and were mailed to residents who live nearby, says Alex Forbes, manager of planning and heritage. (Tony Davis/CBC)

The proposed road to Angus Drive would divert some traffic to Angus Drive, then back to St. Peters Road, through a roundabout the province plans to build this summer.

Morgan and some other residents said Angus Drive isn't suited for the added traffic and doesn't have sidewalks.

"It feels very clustered, complicated and dangerous," she said.

Mel's applied to expand its property and create a new access to Angus Drive back in 2015 and was turned down.

CBC News left several messages for the owner of Mel's, but did not hear back.

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With files from Tony Davis