Iqaluit approves new subdivision along Road to Nowhere
Councillors warn against following Plateau subdivision planning model
Iqaluit’s next development area will be along the Road to Nowhere.
City council approved the area, which includes 14.9 hectares of “developable land,” at a regular city council meeting Sept. 10 — but warned the city’s planning and development department against following the example of the city’s most recent development area, the Plateau, for the layout of roads, buildings and houses.
Design-wise, “I wouldn’t recommend going with anything that’s like the Plateau,” Coun. Kenny Bell told the city’s acting director of planning and lands, Jennifer Catarino.
“As a resident I can tell you that it’s terrible,” he said, pointing to the neighbourhood’s narrow roads and angled buildings on small lots. “It’s dangerous, in my opinion, and scary and ugly.”
The city, with development planners, broke down the city’s options for the next development area into two sites.
These were presented to residents in public consultations in the summer — one known as Area A along the road to Apex, and Area B, along the Road to Nowhere and closer to the built-up neighbourhoods of the Lake Subdivision.
Residents were asked for their preferences, and asked to rate the Plateau Subdivision’s advantages and disadvantages to help guide the city’s decision on how to develop the next area.
City councillors’ reading on the review was that developers preferred to build high-density housing in the new area, much like in the Plateau, which they said goes against public opinion.
“One thing that I’ve heard regularly from the citizens of this community is that they do not like the Plateau,” said Coun. Romeyn Stevenson, in agreement with Bell.
Cost of the overall development to the city for the new development would be the same, regardless of housing density, he said, so the city should stick to building wider roads and houses with larger lots.
Coun. Morrissey agreed, pointing out that the city’s share of single-family and semi-detached houses are far outnumbered by multiplexes and apartments, by about 20 to 80 per cent.
“One thing I’ve heard consistently since being elected was that people are tired of watching multiplexes being built,” he said. “They’re tired of watching the same developers build them, and then they collect the rent.”
“We’re trying to encourage people to become long-term residents of this city, not build their bank accounts and move south,” said Morrissey. “We need to be sure they have a comfortable home to live in and showing a lot size and a home that suits their needs will go a long way to that.”
Council’s decision to take Area B followed the planning and development department’s advice, which noted that development costs would be about 13 per cent lower than in Area A, on a per-hectare basis.
Area B also will also have more land available for lease, amounting to 14.9 hectares to Area A’s 10.9 hectares.
This is partly because Area A includes a large plot of land reserved by the Government of Nunavut for a new Legislative Assembly building, according to Catarino.
The new area will cost the city about $22 million for roads and servicing. Construction in the new subdivision is expected to begin in 2016.