Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit February 12, 2016 - 9:59 am

New housing development planned for Nunavut capital, in Apex

Deputy mayor votes no because of overburdened water service

STEVE DUCHARME
Mélodie Simard, the City of Iqaluit's director of planning and development, makes a presentation to city councillors Feb. 9, on a planned residential development in Apex. (PHOTO BY STEVE DUCHARME)
Mélodie Simard, the City of Iqaluit's director of planning and development, makes a presentation to city councillors Feb. 9, on a planned residential development in Apex. (PHOTO BY STEVE DUCHARME)

Residents in Apex are one step closer to some new neighbors.

Two bylaws passed second reading at Iqaluit’s city council Feb. 9, changing the designation of a parcel of land across from the Apex graveyard to “residential community” from “open space.”

“The City of Iqaluit planning department, after much consultation is proposing to create a new residential area in Apex on land fronting the cemetery,” the city’s director of planning and development Mélodie Simard said in her presentation to council.

The land was also designated as a “Trucked Services Exception Zone.”

“The zoning amendment would include on the residential parcel an exception zone that would allow for smaller lot area and also a smaller lot frontage. That will allow for the creation of lots in a cul-de-sac,” Simard said.

The advantage of developing a cul-de-sac — that is, a dead-end road — is to allow for smaller, more affordable homes, she added.

“We’ve consulted with public works and emergency services and they raised no concerns with those proposed standards.”

That trucked services exception would add more houses to the city’s already overburdened and inefficient trucked water service.

And for that reason, deputy mayor Romeyn Stevenson voted against both bylaws.

“As I think this council understands, I am firmly against this development… I won’t be supporting this or any other development that allows for more trucked service,” Stevenson said.

Public consultations for the project were held on April 30 and Oct. 29 of 2015.

“The area we’re proposing for amendment today seemed to be the area that caused the least concern among the residents of Apex for residential development, so that’s the main reason why that area was chosen,” said Simard.

Public attendance was robust for both consultations, she added.

And notices were posted in public areas throughout Iqaluit, with brochures, or “doorknockers” given to Apex residences immediately adjacent to the proposed development.

Stevenson praised planning and development staff for their consultations and notification, but added that he thought city guidelines for notifications should be improved.

“I brought this issue up before but I strongly feel that we need to change both of those processes possibly to make them more accessible to average citizens because I feel like people don’t realize what they’re being offered,” he said.

“I looked at the poster at [Arctic] Ventures, I stared at it a long time, and I know all about this and I feel that it’s not accessible.”

City councillors have to pass the bylaws at a third and final reading before they become law.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Feb. 23.

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