Thursday, May 1, 2008

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom and the neighbourhood showed up

Tim Banks says "I tried to go commercial with this site but once I heard the opposition from the Community I knew it was time to withdraw our application and that is exactly what we did." Steve may have to do the same if he wants customers?
Developer proposes Mazda car dealership for corner of bypass
The Guardian

Of all possible commercial developments, a car dealership has one of the lowest effects on neighbours, says Stephen MacIsaac, but residents packed into Charlottetown council chambers Wednesday did not agree.
MacIsaac wants to take close to 4.5 acres at the northeast corner of the Upton Road and Charlottetown bypass highway intersection and make it into a new “state-of-the-art, image-compliant, 10,000 square-foot glass front” Mazda car dealership. The subject land and the area around it is currently zoned R-1L for family homes and must be rezoned for the car dealership proposal.
“(It would have) very low impact as far as retail in that there is limited traffic associated with an automobile dealership, probably less than what would go in and out if you had it developed into single family lots,” said MacIsaac at the public meeting. “It’s as low impact as it gets.”
Car dealerships are brightly lit all night for security reasons, leading to light pollution at night combined with noise pollution during the day, said resident Kate Marshall in opposition to the rezoning request.
MacIsaac said modern lighting can be highly focused and the intent is to have no leaking light.
Marshall and many others said they bought property and settled in the area, secure in the knowledge that surrounding land was zoned for single dwellings as reflected in the official plan.
“We were aware when we purchased our property that an application for rezoning had previously been rejected so we felt safe in our purchase, that we wouldn’t have to go through this,” said Marshall.
She said the area of Upton Road north of the bypass is single-family, detached dwellings, farms and parkland and should remain that way.
Marshall and others said the city has plenty of other areas already zoned commercial so here is no need for this rezoning.
A decision on the rezoning is expected at the next monthly meeting of Charlottetown City Council.
Dennis Williams said he and his wife are adamantly opposed to any commercial rezoning of the property.
“We bought this property in 1984 and we have seen several zoning applications for this property over the years,” said Williams.
They were all rejected and the area remains single-family residential with some 200 new homes plus a new elementary school in the past 10 years.
“Residents in this area are weary of this never-ending struggle to protect their investment against the parade of developers whose primary motivation is monetary gain,” said Williams.
Graeme Linkletter called the rezoning the “thin edge of the wedge.”
“You are not just looking at this application tonight as a standalone,” said Linkletter.
“It is going to be a very popular corner in the future as the bypass gets extended sometime. The pressure will be on to develop the other three corners into commercial, especially when you have one anchor there.”
The application also included a separate but nearby area to be rezoned to allow three “high-end, user-occupied” townhouses with units costing up to $160,000 but developer Warren Doiron withdrew that aspect of the application after hearing concerns from
residents at the meeting.
Doiron owns the land where MacIsaac wants to put the car dealership.
He said the land may now be zoned for single-family detached dwelling but that does not reflect reality.
“That’s on the arterial highway, for Pete’s sake,” said Doiron.

1 comment:

Rob Lantz said...

This resolution is before council tonight. All things considered -- Planning Staff opposes it, the residents oppose it, Council rejected a similar rezoning on St. Peter's Rd recently -- I have to vote against it.

Nice to see you blogging Tim. Your input on City issues is appreciated.