St. John’s city council created a new zone — Commercial Duckworth East — to accommodate a proposed development on the downtown street.
Republic Properties wants to build a boutique hotel with ground-floor commercial space and a residential building with two levels of parking at civic nos. 83 and 90 Duckworth Street. The proposed development is known as the Lighthouse project.
“The amendment before council is to create a specific zone — the commercial Duckworth zone — in order to better deal with the proposal and would in effect introduce a new district and zone in the downtown,” said Coun. Tom Hann at Monday’s council meeting.
Hann noted that the project hasn’t changed, but the original proposal covers property in two different zones.
“Since the two buildings in two different zones are related by the fact they share parking, it was felt that the amendment should be made to the Municipal Plan and to development regulations,” said Hann, who said the rezoning would help to better manage the project.
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Council has received submissions from people opposed to the project. “High-rise buildings will destroy the heritage character of this area, so loved by visitors and our citizens,” reads one submission, with the name removed for its inclusion briefing notes. “Have the vision, as literally hundreds of other heritage-conscious cities, to keep to your own guidelines and to insist on a development which will be more in character with the existing neighbourhood and will enhance this historical part of the city.”
Councillors approved the amendment, which still has to go to the provincial department of municipal affairs. Council will also have to appoint a commissioner to hold a public hearing on the amendment.