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

Jason Malloy
Published on April 4, 2011
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.