Amended ap­proval

Strat­ford gives green light on re­zon­ing de­vel­op­ment

Journal Pioneer - - THE ISLAND - BY MITCH MAC­DON­ALD

A 52-unit apart­ment build­ing in Strat­ford is one step closer to break­ing ground. Strat­ford coun­cil ap­proved the first read­ing of a re­zon­ing ap­pli­ca­tion from Pan-Amer­i­can Prop­er­ties dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s coun­cil meet­ing to al­low for the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment on Dale Drive. It will see a sec­ond read­ing dur­ing next month’s coun­cil meet­ing.

How­ever, the re­quest was slightly mod­i­fied from what was pre­sented to the pub­lic ear­lier this month. The por­tion of land be­ing re­zoned from com­mer­cial to mixed use has been re­duced from 4.05 acres to about 1.3 acres. Kevin Reynolds, di­rec­tor of plan­ning, said dur­ing the pub­lic meet­ing the de­vel­oper pro­posed the pos­si­bil­ity of adding some re­tail such as a cof­fee shop to the front prop­erty fac­ing the Tran­sCanada High­way.

It was later re­al­ized if the en­tire por­tion was re­zoned for mixed use, re­tail would not be per­mit­ted in the area.

“That’s why we rec­om­mended (they) amend the ac­tual re­zon­ing to re­duce (the area be­ing re­zoned),” he said.

Coun. Jill Bur­ridge, who chairs the plan­ning, de­vel­op­ment and her­itage com­mit­tee, said she felt the de­vel­op­ment was a good fit. “We cer­tainly want to en­sure the com­mer­cial side re­mains close to the road so I think this is the right thing to do,” said Bur­ridge, who added that pub­lic com­ments from the meet­ing were also taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

Bur­ridge said while most res­i­dents were in favour of the de­vel­op­ment, there were some con­cerns with the build­ing’s height, green space and drainage is­sues.

“And, just over­all, they want to make sure the de­vel­op­ment is done right and make sure we im­prove this area,” said Bur­ridge. “A lot of the con­cerns are things that would be ad­dressed in the de­vel­op­ment stage… this is stuff we’ll have to tend to later.” Dur­ing the pub­lic meet­ing, de­vel­oper Tim Banks also ad­dressed those con­cerns and said he wanted to im­prove the drainage in the area while also main­tain­ing up­keep on the prop­erty. The build­ing would be lo­cated be­hind the ex­ist­ing Store­mark prop­erty, which Banks said he plans to make im­prove­ments on and, will likely, even­tu­ally move Store­mark to an­other lo­ca­tion. Coun­cil voted unan­i­mously for the re­zon­ing, which also in­cludes chang­ing the area in the zon­ing map from Ma­son Road com­mer­cial zone to Ma­son Road mixed zone, dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing.

“I think they did an out­stand­ing job,” said Coun. Derek Smith on the plan.

The build­ing will also in­clude 30 af­ford­able hous­ing units, which Mayor Steve Og­den said was badly needed in Strat­ford.

MITCH MAC­DON­ALD/SALTWIRE NET­WORK

Strat­ford Coun. Jill Bur­ridge checks her com­puter screen dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s coun­cil meet­ing. The meet­ing saw coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­prove first read­ing of a re­zon­ing that would al­low for the con­struc­tion of a 52-unit apart­ment.

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