A two-acre property on Mowat Drive in Saint Andrews has been earmarked for a 42-unit affordable housing building.Photo: Google Maps

Original Published on Sep 23, 2022 at 22:19

Public input sought on proposed Saint Andrews development

By Rhythm Rathi, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Public input is being sought on a proposed 42-unit affordable housing development in Saint Andrews.

A public hearing of objections has been set for Oct. 17 to allow for feedback after town council heard from the developer about her site plan for the proposed Mowat Drive project this week.

Tressa Bevington, of Compass Housing Inc., laid out details about the project, planned for 302 Mowat Dr., to council and town staff via Zoom. The building, which will be constructed on a two-acre lot, will now have 60 parking spaces, up seven from what the town asked for, she said, and plans are to keep as much greenery as possible on both sides of the building.

The property would only have one two-way opening to the parking lot, functioning both as the entrance and exit, in order to reduce the amount of traffic into the property, she said. Plans are also for an outdoor amenity space adhering to town bylaws and a walking trail behind it connecting it to Anchors Landing and further to the subdivision.

The apartments will be a mix of one and two-bedroom units with a “spacious open concept” and an office space in each unit, as many people work remotely these days, Bevington previously told the Telegraph-Journal. On Tuesday, Bevington added that many of these units will also have balconies in them.

When asked at the council meeting for a design of the exterior look of the building showing balconies, Bevington said she didn’t have her building renderings ready yet and getting them done would take her “into December.”

She said those are “very different” to prepare compared to the site plan because in order to prepare a design of the exterior of the building, the interior – including “all the mechanical, all of the systems, the electrical” – need to be done at the same time to ensure “it works with the design of the outside of the building.” 

Saint Andrews council noted that an exterior look of the building would be helpful to answer some of the public’s question at October’s hearing of objections. Town CAO Chris Spear said there have been several concerns from the residents about the building “fitting into the landscape.” 

“I’m sympathetic,” he said, “but I’ve got concerns that if (the design) isn’t available, it’s not going to be something that makes the public really happy.”

Saint Andrews council debated the issue of the timeline in the meeting, and it was noted that a full set of designs is a requirement for the developmental agreement to take place but not for the public hearing of objections to move forward. 

Town clerk Paul Nopper later confirmed to the Telegraph-Journal that a site plan is all Bevington needed for the public hearing of objections, and a visual concept of what the building would look like “is helpful, but it is not necessary for the public hearing.” 

He said council will decide whether to host “a public consultation or a public information session,” once they receive the designs, but another public hearing of objections will not be required as the requirements for the Community Planning Act have already been met.

Town staff will be mailing out copies of the site plan to households within a 200-metre radius of the proposed development, he said, to invite them to attend the meeting or submit comments. Staff is currently working with the developer to form a developmental agreement that will “come forward” when council decides to take the rezoning process to the third reading, Nopper added.

Bevington later said to the newspaper that she is aiming to produce the conceptual design by Nov. 7. She said residents can “expect that the building will look good and compliment the area, and that we have a very talented team working on the design and very excited for when it will be completed.

“People need to stay positive because we need this project to happen.”

– With files from Marlo Glass

This item reprinted with permission from   Telegraph-Journal   Saint John, New Brunswick

Comments are Welcome - Leave a reply below - Posts are moderated