The consensus for those taking the podium was clearly against moving forward with the proposed development agreement for 52 Victoria Street, during a public hearing, June 11, in Town of Antigonish town hall council chamber.
Seven speakers addressed the room after Eastern District Planning Commission director John Bain outlined the details of the proposed construction – “a two unit dwelling immediately behind 52 Victoria Street on a ‘small lot’ to be created by the subdivision of the property.”
The proposed development is in a R1 zone so it would need to be re-zoned to R2 for approval.
The seven opposition arguments stretched from technical to practical to emotional, all coming from residents immediately in the vicinity of 52 Victoria Street with one gentlemen speaking on behalf of his parents, who are neighbours of the address in question.
Area resident John Monkman put together a report which he presented to Town of Antigonish council members as well as Bain, and summed up his opposition noting the proposal “doesn’t conform to any policy” and “should be completely redone before approval.”
Lauchie MacIsaac and Bill Landry, among other concerns, focused much of their allotted five minutes on the water management issues the development would require; feeling those weren’t addressed adequately in the proposal.
Area residents Sarah Armstrong, Chad Brazier, Barbara Low and Ann Marie Chisholm talked about the addition of the unit adding to an already congested area, as far as traffic and parking, and an overall “change in the nature of the neighbourhood,” as Armstrong articulated it.
All noted the seniors who live in the area as well as the fact the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home is nearby, suggesting there are safety concerns with additional traffic and nuisance concerns with added noise.
“We don’t want to be Antigonish rent-all” Chisholm said, while alluding to the fact the whole process is a repeat since the proposal came before council in the past, only to be turned down.
“You voted for residents before … have you forgotten who we are?” she said.
All members of council were present for the hearing; in an observational capacity.
Mayor Laurie Boucher said the vote on the agreement would, most likely, take place during council’s next regular monthly, public meeting, which was June 17, with the result unavailable at press time.