Find­ing com­mon ground

De­vel­oper and res­i­dents try to find com­pro­mise on ex­pan­sion of The Mount

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY MITCH MAC­DON­ALD Mitchell.mac­don­ald@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/MITCH_PEI

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.

MITCH MAC­DON­ALD/THE GUARDIAN

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.

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