Finding common ground
Developer and residents try to find compromise on expansion of The Mount
The owner of The Mount Continuing Care Community says he’s willing to compromise on a proposed addition to the facility after hearing nearby residents’ concerns about traffic safety.
Paul Jenkins made a presentation to Charlottetown city council Monday asking for an amendment to the site’s institutional zoning to allow an addition to the building that would include 18 residential apartments.
Jenkins is also requesting what city planners described as a “major height variance,” to bring the current allowance of just under 40 feet up to 58 feet to allow for the units.
The addition would also include 16 nursing care units and space to lease.
Residents in the area expressed concerns over the expansion, largely over the increased traffic on Mount Edward Road as well as the building’s height ruining the view in the area.
Jenkins said he would be willing to move the proposed entrance from near the top of a hill, which many said is a blind spot, down to the current entrance of the facility.
Jenkins said he had not heard the concerns prior to the meeting.
“Some of (their concerns) were very valid,” said Jenkins. “It’s going to be an additional cost to the project because we’ll have to take out more fill, but I think it’s a good suggestion from the neighbourhood.”
However, Jenkins said residents had to also consider the needs of the nursing care residents.
While some asked Jenkins to build the expansion out, rather than up, he said the only option would block the light for current residents
Jenkins said he also wanted to keep the facility’s footprint small and noted the high trees on the property.
“The trees are much higher than 55 feet, so the building is actually quite well masked from the road,” he said.
Janet Stewart, one of the residents who spoke on the issue, also had a petition with an estimated 24 signatures of residents who opposed the current proposal.
“We don’t want to stop the building at all, but there was great concern about the traffic,” said Stewart. “What (Jenkins) is doing is really important and it’s not like we want to shoot that down, but (we want) to preserve the beautiful landscape and the light coming through the trees and the ambience that is being l ost.”
The city’s planning board will discuss the issue next Monday and decide on a recommendation for council, who will then vote whether to allow an amendment.
Paul Jenkins, owner of The Mount Continuing Care Community, gives a presentation to Charlottetown council on a proposed expansion to the facility. Jenkins is seeking an amendment to the site’s zoning and height variance to allow for the addition of 18 apartment units.