PEI

Stratford moves to allow higher density housing

Stratford Town Council has approved extensive changes to its zoning bylaws to allow for higher density housing.

Low density zoning was an expensive problem for developers, says councillor

The previous minimum lot size in Stratford was about a quarter acre.

Stratford Town Council has approved extensive changes to its zoning bylaws to allow for higher density housing.

Like Charlottetown, on the other side of the Hillsborough River, Stratford is facing a housing crunch. Following five public meetings, council voted unanimously Wednesday afternoon to make the changes.

  • The minimum lot size will be reduced.
  • Zoning will encourage more semi-detached development.
  • Secondary suites will be allowed in homes.
  • R1, R2 and R3 zones are changed to low, medium and high density.

Coun. Keith MacLean said opinions were very mixed over the changes, but council felt the old zoning was creating problems that needed to be fixed.

"Secondary suites help with the housing crunch a lot," said MacLean.

There's nowhere in Stratford right now for seniors to downsize to, says Coun. Keith MacLean. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

"You can have a university student, bring them in with you to help pay your mortgage. Seniors that are wanting to leave their home — and right now in Stratford there's nowhere for them to go to — but if there's a secondary suite they can move in with a young family, have their own unit, and then the senior's property becomes available."

The previous minimum lot size was about a quarter acre, and the new minimum is about 30 per cent smaller.

The previous, lower density, zoning was costly for developers, said MacLean, who were faced with spending more money building roads, sewers and waterlines to connect homes in new developments.

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With files from Laura Chapin

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