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Community gives thumbs down to proposed 10-storey development in Dartmouth


DARTMOUTH - Three months ago, Laura Hambleton and her partner were unpacking boxes, moving into their first home on George Street in Dartmouth.

A preliminary rendering of the proposed design for a new mixed-use development on 169 Wyse Rd. in Dartmouth.

The young couple bought their house because it was located in a quiet neighbourhood, surrounded by trees and green space, she explained.

But on Wednesday evening, Hambleton stood before a room of close to 40 of her neighbourhoods, pleading that a proposed 10-storey apartment complex not go in next door.

“I’m kind of heart broken with this proposal to be very honest,” she said.

“It’s massive. It’s so large and it makes me cry to think about the privacy that I will lose.”

 

She was speaking about a new development proposed by developer Kenneth Anthony, who wants to build an 82-unit mixed-use apartment tower, complete with a 67-stall underground parking garage and more than 2,600 square feet of commercial space, on the corners of Wyse Road, Pelzant and George streets.

The development also features two sets of townhouses on both Pelzant and George streets.

Under the area’s current planning rules, developments cannot exceed three-storeys and require the city’s approval.

City planner Mitch Dickey opened Wednesday’s meeting by joking that the crowd needs no introduction to the dilapidated building currently occupying the site, known for its storied history as former home of the Little Nashville country cabaret and later the strip club, Sensations.

A manager with company in charge of the proposal’s design, WSP Canada Inc., also affirmed what many in the crowd later echoed, which was anything on the site is better than the eye sore of a building there now.

“It is quite an area in need of change. Positive urban renewal,” Blais Morrison said of the Wyse Road area Wednesday.

Although most residents agreed the site, as well as the neighbourhood itself—which one resident called a “sea of asphalt”—is in desperate need of development, around 13 of the close to 20 people who spoke during the meeting voiced overwhelming opposition to the proposal.

“I have a six-year-old son that, you know what, I can confidently say he can get across the street safely, and I can’t say that once this building’s in here,” said resident Consuelo Panzarasa.

“There’s going to be a lot of traffic.”

A lack of on-street parking and the overall height of the building were of other major concerns to residents.

Planning staff say feedback from Wednesday’s meeting will be incorporated in a future staff report.

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