Iqaluit City Council nixes Plateau zoning change
Two homeowners say proposed six-plexes would ruin their views
Iqaluit city council has rejected a proposed amendment to a zoning bylaw in Iqaluit’s plateau subdivision that would have allowed a developer, BDL Properties, to build two six-plex apartment buildings.
The amendment, considered during their March 12 meeting, included rezoning the area from “public institutional” to a “residential cluster” zone
During a March 12 public hearing on the issue, Jean-Roch Côté, whose home would be within 45 feet of one of the proposed six-plexes, said he is firmly against the development.
He, and one other person, Anthony Barney, who lives in a house in the same area, were the only members of the public to appear before council.
“I wonder why we don’t continue with houses,” Côté said, who lives in a single-family dwelling.
Côté said the proposed six-plexes would lessen the value of his house and ruin his view.
“I’m not too happy and I’m not supporting this project,” he told city council.
The six-plexes would not be true “low density” projects, he said.
“It’s my view… if I go on my balcony my neighbors will be closer to me than people coming in my front door,” Côté said.
In a public institution zone, the height limit is three stories.
Under the proposal that BDL put forward, the two-storey building would come in at 8.6 metres, under what is allowed.
The only views that are guaranteed in Iqaluit are those on the ridge, and “we charge extra for those,” said Arif Sayani, the city’s director of planning and development.
But disgruntled homeowner Barney told council he thinks everybody should be given an opportunity to see how the proposed six-plexes could affect them.
“You’re going to block the entire fourth floor,” he said.
But once the city advertises lots and no interest is shown, anyone can walk in, Sayani said to council.
The lot eyed for development has been available since 2005.
And people buying property should be aware that future developments happen, Coun. Romeyn Stevenson said.
“They bought property in a developing development… unfortunately for him, that’s just the facts, that’s what happens when you buy a house near an empty lot,” he said.
“Unless they want to pool their money together and buy it,” Stevenson added.
Coun. Mark Morrissey said that six-plexes aren’t necessarily conducive to homeownership, while “clusters” often serve as transitional housing, Coun. Mary Wilman said.
Coun. Kenny Bell said that he lives in a “cluster” and it was an affordable way to start a home.
Coun. Simon Nattaq said he feels for Côté and Barney, but added that nobody came when the space was first offered to the public.
Since the council decided not to amend the bylaw, the company, BDL Properties will now have to wait six months before another amendment can be brought again to council.