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Ward 3 Coun. Bruce Tilley, whose ward includes Topsail Road, said he’s well aware the project meets the city’s development regulations, but residents still deserve to be told what’s going on.
“From my perspective it looks very good in terms of how it will impact the residents. I’m going to arrange a meeting with staff, developer and residents to identify any concerns they may have or how we may make this project more effective and palatable,” he said.
“I think that’s the reasonable and honest thing to do. But there’s no question about it, let me be upfront, that this particular project meets all of our regulations and standards, and I just want to keep the residents informed, and I think we owe it to them,” Tilley said.
The city’s acting director of planning, Ken O’Brien, said because the project is in a zone that allows an apartment building to be constructed, there is no decision for council to make in terms of zoning, so the meeting with residents will only be an information session to let people know what is happening.
It will not be a public meeting held for citizens to air their concerns about a project in the hopes of swaying council to approve or not approve a particular development.
However, as council approved the Topsail Road project, it said it was subject to three conditions, one of which is the information session for the residents of Holbrook Avenue — at which time residents will also be able to view the development plans.
Hann said even though the apartment building is a permitted use for Topsail Road, the developer will listen to residents, and if there are any concerns that need to be addressed, there may be some way to address some of the issues.
“I think this is a unique opportunity, and Killam is a national developer and all they do is develop apartment units, and I’m sure you’re going to see them come back with more. I think they have identified the market and the need for apartment units and I think we’re going to see more developers coming forward in the $800-$900 price range,” he said.
The other conditions include compliance with the requirements of the city’s departments of planning, development and engineering, as well as compliance with all aspects of the St. John’s Regional Fire Department.