A nine-storey residential and commercial building would cause noise, privacy issues and a claustrophobic environment in a Lake Banook neighbourhood, say some residents.
“It’s kind of like pulling the rug out from under the residents that have lived here for so long,” says Paul Mombourquette, who lives at 7 Glenwood Ave., next door to the proposed building location.
Mombourquette is a member of the Banook Area Residents Association, a community group that feels the development wouldn’t mesh well with the neighbourhood of mostly single-family homes.
The building would be constructed on two adjacent Dartmouth properties: 307 Prince Albert Rd. and 5 Glenwood Ave. Both locations would need to be rezoned to allow for the mixed-use residential building, which would be the first on the lakeside to reach a height of nine storeys.
The developer, Monaco Investments Partnership, has applied for the rezoning. Its proposed building would contain about 90 residential units, 605 square feet of ground floor commercial space and at least 106 spaces for internal parking.
Mombourquette says 106 internal parking spaces won’t be enough when visitors to the building are taken into account. He says extra cars will park on Glenwood Avenue, making the street, which is already narrow and on a steep hill, more difficult for emergency vehicles to drive through.
“In the winter, with the snow added on, it’ll make it extremely difficult for the people that have young children … walking to and from school,” he says.
This is the second proposal that Monaco Investments Partnership has made for the site. In 2011, it requested a rezoning to allow for a 15-storey building, but Harbour East-Marine Drive community council denied the proposal.
“I didn’t think we’d ever have to go through this again,” says Mombourquette, who got involved when the original development was proposed.
Wadih Jabbour, a partner in Monaco Investments Partnership, says they have been working with planners to make changes to the proposal. In doing so, they hope to accommodate the concerns voiced by community council.
He says the building would be a good commercial and residential addition to the Lake Banook area, which is known for its vibrant paddling community. He says it could encourage more positive development around the lake.
“We think it’ll be great rejuvenation to this whole neighbourhood,” he says.
Jabbour says that if they are not able to use the area for residential purposes, they will consider putting up a hotel on the existing commercial Prince Albert Road property. He believes, however, a residential building will be better because it would increase the local population and allow aging residents to downsize without leaving the community.
“If (current residents) think their neighbourhood is better served without it, that’s their prerogative,” he says.
Mombourquette says developers shouldn’t be able to enter into communities and rezone them, like Monaco Investments Partnership wants to do.
“There’s nothing to stop a developer from going into a neighbourhood like this, buying up five or six properties … and, all at once, being able to change the rules,” he says.
The Harbour East-Marine Drive community council will hold a public hearing for the proposal on Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. at Alderney Landing. Members of the Banook Area Residents Association are encouraging people in the community to attend and show their opposition.