Community

Kearney Lake Road development rejected

Halifax and west community council discussed rezoning issue

It was standing room only at Tuesday’s Halifax and west community council meeting, as nearly three dozen residents showed up to debate the rezoning of 59 Kearney Lake Rd.

The proposal was for a four-storey apartment building to be built on the land. Currently, the property is an R-1 zone, or a single family dwelling, but the developers wanted to change it to a R-3 zone, for a general residential low-rise apartment building.

Resident Glenn Taylor told council they shouldn’t approve the development, as it didn’t meet the needs of the neighborhood.

“The proposal does not improve traffic, does not reduce school enrollment, does not improve a derelict property,” he said. “It does not increase local property values, it does not improve the local environment, nor does it improve neighborhood stability.”

Coun. Shawn Cleary was the only council member to support the project.

“We need to create more (population) density like this and stop the suburban sprawl,” he said.

Coun. Richard Zurawski disagreed.

He said the proposal had been “contentious and fractious from the beginning.” He added traffic in the area needed to be studied more intensively before any development could be considered.

Council voted 4-1 against the rezoning, meaning the 40-unit apartment won’t be allowed.

After the decision, the gathered crowd roared with applause. One man yelled out that the proposal should never have come as far as the council meeting.

Prior to the vote, there had been two public input meetings on the proposal, in 2017 and 2018. The original plan was for one meeting, but public attendance was so great another had to be scheduled.