Town allows expansion of apartment building at corner of Willow and Duke streets

Jason Malloy
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Glen Fisher speaks out against a proposed multiple unit expansion to an existing dwelling located at the corner of Duke and Willow streets. Truro Town Council entered into the development agreement following Monday's public hearing.

TRURO - Glen Fisher says he won't be able to enjoy his family's backyard after town council approved an expansion of an abutting property.

The Willow Street resident was speaking Monday during a public hearing concerning an application by Andrew Wheelock to expand an existing three-unit dwelling at the corner of Willow and Duke street by an additional three units.

Fisher said he was concerned with how the "overwhelming size" of the development would impact his family's property that it has worked on for the past 20 years to improve. He specifically raised concerns about balconies on the 2.5-storey development that would face his property.

"The vistas Mr. Wheelock's tenants will have is a lovely view of my backyard, which will be rendered useless to me because I will not be able to sit in my backyard without being the entertainment for this development," Fisher told council.

"We will not be able to enjoy our family home."

Director of planning and development Jason Fox said in his report to council that the proposal "satisfies many of council's residential development policies and adheres to most of the guiding land use bylaw requirements."

Following a lengthy hearing council decided to permit the development during April's council session. Council voted 5-1 with Coun. Greg MacArthur the lone member to vote against entering into the development agreement.

"It would be a nice development if no one was behind him," MacArthur said. "It's a big, big project that's not in the right area."

The property is located next to a heritage district and the existing dwelling on the property dates back to 1897.

"The committee appreciates the architectural design of the proposal but unanimously agreed not to support this application," a letter from Ken Henderson, Truro Heritage Advisory Committee chairman.

Its reasons include not being compatible with existing heritage properties and the height and scale are "overwhelming."

Coun. Diane Bennett-Cook said the proposal fits in the neighbourhood where there are some large existing structures.

"In my opinion this will improve the corner of Willow and Duke," Wheelock said.

The town sent 37 questionnaires to properties within 230 metres of the property. Nearly 74 per cent did not reply while 16 per cent were in favour, 5.6 were opposed and four had no opinion.

There is a 14-day appeal period from when the town advertises the decision.


Organizations: Truro Heritage Advisory Committee

Geographic location: Willow Street

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Recent comments

  • Note
    April 05, 2011 - 16:29

    When the Town sends out questionnaires to the local properties, they are not always reaching the peoplewho lives in the area as they just go to the owner of the property. People living in a area who rent but get to vote in elections, have no say in there area as they are not asked how they feel about this subject. but John the landlord who might live in Halifax and has the rent put into his bank account gets the only vote. Something might be going on in your area of town, but if you rent you will never know. How many people in this area only just found out about this today?

    • Laura Marsh
      April 07, 2011 - 17:58

      I just found out about this NOW... very much disagree with someone tearing down an older "historical" home in order to have apartment built... there is other unused property in Truro and area that would serve as multi unit apartment buildings... which by the way, I do believe we do need more apartment buildings in Truro and area... but not distroying the older "beautiful homes" in order to do that.

  • Concerned
    April 05, 2011 - 16:18

    The Fishers property will be severely devalued by this development. I wonder if the counselors took this into consideration when they cast their votes.

  • annoyed
    April 05, 2011 - 13:53

    The Truro Daily should ask the counselors who voted in favor of this to explain to their constituents why the Fishers rights were not protected.

  • Mme
    April 05, 2011 - 11:53

    There has to be a compromise so families can live in the downtown area as well. This development is too big for the surrounding family homes and will drive one more family out of the downtown. You need families to stay in town to make the recreational programs what they are - they are the people that step up to help run many of the programs that make Truro what it is. Truro is known for it's long standing family history and one by one, these buildings are destroying that long standing reputation because they are driving families out of town.

  • Byron
    April 05, 2011 - 11:51

    Maybe the people who oppose this project should do as Andrew Wheelock probably did; Lobby the Town counselors and persuade them to change their mind. But, there is only a 14 day period to appeal the decision. Not much time to persuade at least two counselors to change their mind. Money is the driving force behind these projects. More tax dollars for an apartment dwelling than a single house property. There is only one way to ensure that such buildings don't go up around your dwelling, purchase as much property around you as possible and be willing to pay the extra taxes on it. Truro is growing in population, especially seniors who are willing to pay extravagant rental costs. It is sad, but Truro is moving toward the population of a city instead of a town. So, overpopulation and crowding will become more of an issue. The most ideal location to me for a house in the area is already taken, the top of Penny Mountain on highway 311.

  • sweetpea
    April 05, 2011 - 11:20

    I couldnt be any closer to this place and nobody asked me for my opinion. A shame Mr Fisher;s beautiful home will suffer. What about the tennants, anyone ask them ?? This really sucks :(

  • Who are the Councillors for this area
    April 05, 2011 - 10:10

    Seems like MacArthur was the only one concerned about the area nd it's citizens. Are the councillors for Ward 2 accountable for this area and it's downfall ???? We voted them in for our area, let's see where they stand.

  • chief wiggam
    April 05, 2011 - 09:01

    i feel for Mr. Fisher. what a terrible thing to happen. "....I will not be able to sit in my backyard without being the entertainment for this development," what a terrible feeling that would be.

    April 05, 2011 - 08:59

    This is what is considered a dense population area. If you want to ensure no one is overlooking you, best to move out to the country. If you wish to live in town, expect neighbours.

  • joan cameron
    April 05, 2011 - 07:52

    This is just wrong....council is obviously not thinking about what is best for that particular neighbourhood and its residents. Perhaps keeping someone else happy is more important. Such a sad situation to think our town council is responsible for allowing this to happen.

  • Greg Wilson
    April 05, 2011 - 00:12

    This is totally nasty that the town would allow this. A family owns and paid taxes for 20 years a life time This is more than a transient home owner or some slum landlord making money off an old house, or fixing it up to make a profit This is a family home To a allow a complex to increase its size just for monetary reasons & destroy someone else enjoyment. Just because there are other large existing properties in the area, is no excuse to make it worse for private dwellings The old down town area is starting to look like a town full of rooming & converted apartments. I don't think it will be to many years before we have a Halifax situatiion people like to have & buy a home in Truro because it's known as a safe & good town to bring up a family & it is a safe place .We should be more careful of what were building around the residential areas