TRURO - A potential plan to redevelop the former Alice Street Elementary School property received overwhelming support from the public on Thursday night.
Town officials held an information session about future development of the site. A conceptual design by developer Ron Meech revealed an idea for 28 residential units where the school used to be before it closed in 2008.
"This is very preliminary," said Jason Fox, the town's planning director, reminding about 60 people in attendance that the design hasn't received final approval by town council.
The proposal includes two single detached units, 10 semi-detached units, one four-unit building, six townhouse units and six one-storey accessible townhouse units.
Developer Ron Meech estimated the value of the units would most likely be about $170,000 to $180,000.
Nearby residents of the site voiced lots of praise for the proposal.
"I think it looks great. You can't do anything but improve" the area, said Lyman Street resident Lisa Atkinson.
"This will be a great advantage to the neighbourhood," added Ibel Scammell of Tor Street, one of the streets bordering the potential development.
Other comments heard from the community indicated the project was "very commendable" and a "very good looking plan" with "good scale for the neighbourhood."
Truro Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann added the province is considering areas for affordable housing pilot projects.
"If Truro is chosen as a pilot project then we could work with the town and developer to help pay for rent," for some, said Zann.
Fox added the proposal would include a playground and private lane amidst the development, which is described as affordable housing.
"There would be a range of units for a variety of affordable housing ... (and) 28 units isn't going to generate a lot of traffic," said Fox, adding some of the units would be rental and also geared towards seniors.
There were some concerns stated as well during the meeting.
Wood Street resident Juliana Barnard said such a development would negatively affect the current coasting hill in the neighbourhood.
"It's a little heartbreaking we will lose the sledding hill," due to the new houses said Barnard, who goes to the hill often with her daughter.
"Is it possible to explore ideas to use the sledding hill? There are always people there."
Alice Street resident Frank Martell added he would not want the area to be transformed to the point of looking like something it isn't.
"I'm very concerned ... I do not want to see it turned into a ghetto," said Martell.
The next step, said town officials, is for Fox to compile a report for town council. The potential plan would "require public meetings, council approval and a storm water management plan," said Fox.