Apartment developers hoping to reach compromise with Sherwood residents

The developers behind a proposal for 41-unit apartment building in Charlottetown’s Sherwood neighbourhood are hoping to reach a compromise with nearby residents before city council votes on the project April 13.

'Timing is of the essence'

A rendering shows what the proposed 41-unit apartment building would look like. (APM)

The developers behind a proposal for a 41-unit apartment building in Charlottetown's Sherwood neighbourhood are hoping to reach a compromise with nearby residents before city council votes on the project April 13.

The council vote was supposed to take place Monday night, but Pine Cone Developments Inc., in partnership with APM Commercial, asked for a deferral so they could attempt to ease the concerns of residents.

The four-storey apartment would be located at 9 Pine Dr., just off Mount Edward Road.

Some nearby residents oppose the project, and the city's planning staff have recommended council reject it, citing concerns over the scale of the building and how it fits into the neighbourhood, which is made up mostly of single-family homes. 

Cain Arsenault of APM said the developers hope to find some middle ground with nearby residents who dislike the project. But he said at this point scrapping the project altogether is not an option.

Joanne MacRae is one of the Sherwood residents who have voiced their opposition to the project. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

"Timing is of the essence so it's not a possibility," he said. 

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"We formally requested a deferral with the hope that there'd be an outcome of sitting down and discussing with the residents what their thoughts were on some possible compromises for our proposal."

If council votes against the current proposal, the developers must wait one year to resubmit a new proposal, said Greg Rivard, chair of the city's planning committee. But if the developers want to make changes to the current proposal, they can ask council to withdraw their application and resubmit it with amendments. If council agrees, the developers would not have to wait the one year, Rivard said. 

It's a quality project.— Cain Arsenault, APM

At a public meeting last month, Sherwood residents voiced their opposition to the project. One of those residents, Joanne MacRae, said she is disappointed city council deferred the vote Monday because it only prolongs the process.

"I think we're willing to say townhouses, two-storey townhouses, something that looks nice in the streetscape could be entertained, but it'll have to be a written comprehensive development agreement."

Ongoing since 2012

The developers have been trying to build a multiple-unit building in one form or another on the property since 2012. The original proposal called for a 24-unit building, where a five-unit building now stands. It is zoned for apartments up to 24 units. The developers have since purchased the house next door. Their proposal includes rezoning that property and tearing down the house and existing apartment to make way for the 41-unit building.  

The proposal calls for the existing apartment building and a home at 9 Pine Dr. to be torn down to make way for the new apartment building. (Shane Ross/CBC)

Arsenault said the developers have set the building back 100 feet from the road, up from the original proposal of 40 feet, with green space in front. The building would have underground parking in addition to outdoor parking spaces.

"It's a quality project," he said.

Arsenault said if no compromise can be reached with residents, the project will go to council as is for a vote in April.

"We're at a point where these projects need to move forward," Arsenault said.

"We're just hoping there can be some compromise on what we've submitted so that there's no further delay."

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With files from Isabella Zavarise