Council defeated a motion to grant draft plan approval for a proposed plan of subdivision of the land at 580-590 Sixth Street.
The plan was comprised of 64 apartment units and 40 street townhouse units.
“I’m very supportive of the conditions under which the tree-cutting would be provided, however, I’m not in support in general of the draft plan approval at this time,” said Coun. Deb Doherty, during the March 11 council meeting.
Coun. Yvonne Hamlin outlined her reasons for voting against the approval in detail.
“I did speak at length about this at committee, so I won’t repeat all my remarks... but I’m not in favour of this proceeding at this time. That whole block is to be developed for medium density, and this proposal is to insert a high-rise unit in the westerly end,” said Coun. Yvonne Hamlin. “I’m not opposed to high-density buildings, but I would like to see is... more detail around how the rest of that block is going to work. Where will a park be? Where will the internal road structure be? Where will the stormwater ponds be? I don’t see this before us tonight.”
Hamlin also brought up the issue of transit. In the plan, there are allowances for two parking spaces per unit, however, she said many people who live in high-density units rely on public transit. The nearest transit stop is a kilometre away at Fifth and High Streets, and there are no sidewalks.
“I just don’t feel we have enough information before us,” she said. “I just don’t see practically how people are going to get down to High Street.”
Doherty confirmed that the reasons she wouldn’t support the approval were in line with the reasons articulated by Hamlin.
Doherty, Hamlin, Coun. Tina Comi and Coun. Mariane McLeod all voted against the motion on the floor.
As Coun. Kathy Jeffery was absent, the tie vote meant the motion to approve the draft plan was defeated.
Deputy Mayor Keith Hull asked Director of Planning Nancy Farrer whether she anticipated the decision would be appealed.
Before Farrer could answer, Coun. Yvonne Hamlin interrupted proceedings.
“Excuse me Mayor. Point of privilege on this – I don’t believe we should be asking our planning director legal questions, and if there are legal questions to be asked, we should be seeking the advice of our counsel,” she said.
“I think it’s a fair question,” said Mayor Brian Saunderson. “He’s asking our planning director if this could be subject to an appeal. I’m not going to allow the objection.”
“It would be my view through discussions with the applicant, I would anticipate that they would be appealing,” said Farrer.
To read our story about the proposal when it came before the Development and Operations standing committee, click here.