Those wanting to voice their opinion to city councillors about a proposed development for the St. Andrew’s School site will have to wait a few more weeks.
A public hearing for the development ran late into Thursday night, prompting council to schedule a continuation for Sept. 17.
Approximately 40 names were on the list of people wanting to speak either for or against the $70 million mixed-use development in the North Park neighbourhood. Bordered by Pandora Avenue, Mason and Vancouver streets, the development calls for 209 rental units amongst two buildings – one six storeys and the other four. There would also be a large ground-floor commercial space that could include an urban grocer, bank and smaller retail stores.
The development, however, hasn’t sat well with some residents ever since the school shut its doors in 2013. More than 600 signatures against the development were recently collected and brought forward to city hall. Those opposed are concerned with traffic volumes, tower overshadowing of the Mason Street Farm and lack of green space.
Tony Mathews is one of several residents in favour of the development and noted Blue Sky Properties has made lots of concessions with regards to public opinion and city council. Mathews never dreamed the proposal would drag on this long.
“It would regenerate this area. It’s as simple as that,” said Mathews, adding more housing in the area is needed.
“I think it’s a fantastic design. It’s modern, it’s open, people can go to and from. It would just be nice to see it done and dusted.”
In the project summary, Blue Sky states the development is an important project for the neighbourhood and the broad community, and has listened to the neighbours and responded positively where it has the ability to do so. The developer has also voluntarily dedicated 11 units for affordable housing.
“The neighbourhood is an important one and it is at a tipping point. This project will renew confidence in the area, provide healthy vitality to the local businesses, increases services to local residents and be a catalysis for future investment,” said the summary, adding the boxes for the city’s development requirement have all been checked off.
“The petition submitted by those opposed sadly doesn’t appropriately reflect the facts surrounding this project and as such is misleading at best.”
— Pamela Roth