Saint John councillor Gerry Lowe has some advice for local developers — scoop the neighbourhood before you file an application with the city.
This after a local developer halted plans for a pair of five-storey residential buildings on Manners Sutton Road following opposition from area residents.
"Talk to the neighbours to see what's going on, what their feelings are, and it could save a lot of time, it could save the developer a lot of money," says Lowe. "Even before he goes and finds out what it's zoned for, because even when it's zoned sometimes properly, there's enough resistance from the residents, and many times rightfully so."
The Planning Advisory Committee recommended that council deny a rezoning request from Mike Cavanaugh after hearing overwhelming opposition from area residents.
Cavanaugh requested that his rezoning application be withdrawn, and council approved the motion at this week's Common Council meeting.
It's standing room only tonight at Saint John Common Council. Most here for the Manners Sutton rezoning and the west side water issues. pic.twitter.com/EjKTVJGb7T
— Brad Perry (@BradMPerry) January 29, 2018
Lowe says there are many places Cavanaugh can build and he hopes the developer will continue his work in the city.
Coun. John MacKenzie expressed similar thoughts, saying that Cavanaugh is "eager to help Saint John grow" and "wants to do it the right way."
As many project opponents sat in the council chambers, Coun. Blake Armstrong defended city staff for their decision to approve the project in the first place.
"This is great that all these people showed up because they looked after the neighbourhood, but staff doesn't have that opportunity," says Armstrong. "They have to look in the book with the developer, whoever it is, and come to the conclusion, even though we might not like it, whether for or against it."