Tantramar Town Council will hold a public hearing at 3 p.m. on June 27th to hear any objections to plans by JN Lafford Realty to build a six storey, 71-unit apartment building at 131 Main Street on property behind the historic Allison/Fisher/Fawcett House.
Sackville developer John Lafford has applied for two changes to the municipal zoning bylaw to make the building possible:
(1) the property (approximately 1.3 acres) would need to be rezoned to Urban Residential 3 (R3) to allow for a residential building with more than six apartments.
(2) height restrictions in the R3 zone would need to be changed from a maximum of 15.3 metres (50 feet) to 19.8 metres (65 feet).
At its meeting last night, council set the date for the public hearing and also voted to refer the requested zoning changes to the planners at the Southeast Regional Service Commission for their comments.
Objections from neighbour
Earlier, councillors heard a presentation from Alexandrya Eaton who is part owner of the adjacent property at 135 Main Street.
She told councillors the owners take pride in maintaining their property in a quiet area of town with surrounding natural green space that provides habitat for wildlife.
“It is therefore, of grave concern that a six-storey building, which would make it the highest building in town and with underground parking, so effectively seven storeys visible from the Waterfowl Park in the back, could be built just 10 feet from our property line towering over the existing single-family homes in the area,” she said.
Eaton went on to raise concerns about traffic and fire safety and argued that there are properties in Sackville better suited to such a development other than the historic area on Main Street.
“What we need are small, affordable, single-family dwellings suitable for young families and senior citizens similar to the co-op housing which will be the most drastically affected by this project,” she said, referring to the nearby Marshwinds Housing Co-op at 127-129 Main Street.
“You decide the bylaws, not developers,” Eaton said, “and you have the opportunity to firmly state that this development, in this location, is not what we want for our town.”
Later, Councillor Michael Tower said that although he appreciated Eaton’s presentation, council needs to hear more before it makes any decisions.
“By having this go to a public meeting, it gives everybody a chance to either, come to be here, or write letters to us so that we can really get feedback from the public as a whole,” he said.
For previous coverage, click here.