Councillor Steve Streatch says water work should begin later this summer in Fall River. (Healey file photo)

FALL RIVER: The local councillor is already fielding lots of questions by phone and email from residents who are cool to the idea of the proposed seniors housing development on the Carr Farm Property in Fall River.

Many residents aren’t so keen on the change in the scope of the development—initially the developer had asked for four, three storey buildings; but is now asking to build four, five story buildings. They are also wary of impacts on wells with blasting; adding upwards of 100-200 vehicles a day to the already headache prone traffic congestion in Fall River; and also the appearance that the project has no benefit to current residents.

Planning design for the project from the cover page of the Carr Farm – Creating an Age-Friendly Community in Fall River Facebook page.

Steve Streatch said residents will be able to ask their questions and provide feedback on the proposal at the March 22 meeting, scheduled for the Gordon R. Snow Community Centre. There will be two sessions, one beginning at 1:30 p.m until 4 p.m. with a presentation at 2 p.m., and a second session from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. with the presentation at 7 p.m.

The District 1 HRM representative said the developer would not be benefiting from the water project, even if it has to come through the site.

“All properties, whether they be residential or commercial are going to be required to adhere to the formula that was put forth at the water public meeting relating to the Local Improvement Charge,” he said. “The Carr Farm property is no different.

“There are some misconceptions in the community that hat property will be subsidized or only paying the same rate that residential properties will be paying, and that is simply not the case.”

Streatch said as the rules exist now, the developer—GFC Management—can build the development that he first brought forward, the one with four, three storey buildings.

“The only stipulation is that an access road has to be built into Fall River Village,” he said. “The biggest concern I heard early in this discussion was that residents in Fall River Village did not want a road coming in there.

“In an effort to get away from the requirement to go into that subdivision, and in an effort to use economies of scale, the developer has come back with a different proposal to increase the height and reduce the footprint.”

He said he completely understands concerns that residents are bringing forward, and that he shares those concerns.

“The meeting on March 22 will give residents an ample opportunity to ask questions not only of the developer but also of HRM staff,” Streatch said. “I just ask everyone to keep an open mind as we go forward into the consultation process.”

Streatch said he, like residents, does not want to see a project that will adversely affect the community or change people’s lifestyle.

“At the same time we have an urgent need for seniors housing in this community, and it was made clear to me on many occasions that people that have lived their lives here and no longer have the ability or need to stay in a home of their own are looking for options.

“I welcome the premise of a more dense seniors housing opportunities. As to whether this application will be passed by regional council remains to be seen.”

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Pat has grown up in East Hants, having called Milford, and now Enfield home. He graduated from the journalism program at Holland College in 2001, and has spent time at newspapers in NL and Alberton and Summerside, PEI before becoming a reporter/photographer at The Weekly Press/The Laker in October 2008. He has a rescue kitty named Asha that is much loved—and spoiled. Pat is also our "social engagement guru." Check him out on twitter!