Voices need to be heard on Ingram Drive proposal

WINDSOR JUNCTION: Residents are gearing up to push back against a proposed development for Ingram Drive that is set for June 13 in Fall River.

At issue is a proposal from W.M. Fares Architects, on behalf of Perry Lake Developments, for a site specific amendment to the River-Lakes Secondary Planning Strategy (SPS) under the Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) for Planning Districts 14 and 17 (Shubenacadie Lakes), to enable a residential development at the south end of Ingram Drive and west of Highway 102, Fall River, known as Opportunity Site C.

In the application, Perry Lake Developments wishes to develop a mixed residential development on a 30-acre (12.8 ha) property. It would include 22 townhouses; two three-storey, 60-unit buildings, 142 dwelling units at a density of 4.7 units per gross acre.

Jay Cameron is one of the several engaged community members of the recently formed residents group who’s aim is not to stop the development per se, but rather to ensure it fits the community. They also believe there’s wiggle room where a compromise between what the area is and the developer can be made.

“We have started to work on an action plan ahead of the public consultation as part of the proposed amendments,” said Cameron. “The group is inheriting a playbook that has worked in other area of HRM to right fit developments to the community footprint.”

(Healey photo)

He said a few of the tactics is about providing a unified, collaborative message back to HRM from as many community members as possible, and ensuring that many are aware of the meeting and get the opportunity to share their views and provide feedback.

Cameron said they’re not against development, but feel there can be a compromise that suits all sides.

“There always seems to be opportunities for compromise,” said Cameron. “I think there can be a happy medium.”

He said residents feel the current proposal does not fit the community, and will only create for traffic headaches and grid lock on their residential subdivision streets.

Cameron said the proposal is not anywhere near what the existing foot print is.

It’s not the first time the proposal has come forward. The previous one was rejected because vehicular connection to Cobequid Road is required, something CN Rail did not grant. Thus, the application was cancelled and never presented to the community or regional council.

He said the road now has a lot of issues with traffic, mostly with speed and little to non-existent easements on the side of the road.

“It’s going to cause bottlenecks, not only from a traffic standpoint but from an infrastructure standpoint,” he said. “We’re not sure if our schools have the capacity to handle what could be 100 or more children. We’re worried about the construction, it’s not a small footprint. It would be completely disruptive for months and months, maybe even years.”

Cameron said it’s important residents get out to the meeting, scheduled for June 13, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Gordon R. Snow Community Centre.

“We don’t want a monstrosity when people look at our community; we want uniformity,” said Cameron.

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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!