MONCTON – Philip Couture of CG Group has applied to rezone around eight acres of land at 470 Ryan Street to allow a 99-unit home development. The rezoning application passed first reading Tuesday night but two councillors expressed concerns about the proposal itself and the process by which council is approving rezonings for new developments.
Councillor Pierre Boudreau said many applications for rezoning have passed through the council recently. He said the process to approve them is too fast and leads to hastened decision-making.
“I think we have to spend a long time on these,” he said. “We’re going too fast and we’re not giving these the proper consideration that they should be getting by the process that we’re now following. My fear that it will create in many cases, safety issues, traffic issues. In many of the applications that come forward, I’m not happy with the process as it now stands. I’ll be hesitant now and in the future to approve any rezoning.
“There are limits to growth within certain periods of time. I have no hesitation in saying that I will not support this application now or in the future if it goes ahead.”
The landowner plans to build a mixed density residential development with a 51-unit building that may become condominiums or apartments for rent or a mix of both. It also wants to build seven townhouse buildings with 48 units. Two commercial spaces are planned for the 51-unit building.
Bill Budd, the City of Moncton’s Director if Urban Planning, suggested the spaces will be used for convenience store-type retail activity.
Councillor Bryan Butler also expressed concerns, saying he needs to know what kind of mixed-dwelling development 470 Ryan Street would be before voting on it. He questioned the privacy of people living in the residential area on Lady Russell Street.
“If all of a sudden you’re gonna put a four-storey building up looking down, their privacy is gone in the backyard no matter what kind of trees you put there.”
Budd said the developer plans to put a 10-metre wide landscaped buffer along the eastern property line and a two-metre-high wooden fence as a screen. Trees will be maintained and new ones will be planted where there are gaps.
Budd, who presented the application to council, said the development is taking place in a booming spot in town. New schools have been built, a daycare is planning to open and a $3.5-million sewer line was built in Moncton’s North West to keep up with growth, he said.
I think it’s also really important to point out this is an urbanizing part of the city. It’s one of the fastest growing parts of the city. The city’s made significant investments over the years in opening this area up,” he said. “It is an urbanizing area and we need different options to support this growing neighbourhood.”
“If you look at the urban boundary, the city’s growth management objectives are to try to achieve a certain type of density in certain parts of the city where there’s transit, so that’s why you’re starting to see a lot of mixed-use residential communities coming into play.”
Other councillors supported the idea. Councillor Greg Turner said the plan is a “good use of the property,” while Councillor Shawn Crossman said the city needs to allow as many housing options as possible in the growing north end.
The developer plans to extend Silver Shale Way and connect it with Lady Russell Street. The extension will be paid for by the developer. A Planning Advisory Committee written review is expected on February 28 and a public hearing will take place on March 19.
“The development can come within about two years of the property zoning,” Budd said.