A four-storey, 48-unit apartment building for Chapel Road in Rothesay is another step closer to reality after town council voted unanimously to enact the bylaw to rezone the property from general commercial to multi-unit residential.
As eight of the apartments are designated to be affordable, and two are age-friendly and accessible, the developer's agreement includes an amendment from the town on how tenants are selected to ensure people requiring affordable and accessible units actually receive them.
During the monthly council meeting on Monday night, Rothesay Mayor Nancy Grant said incentives under the town's new municipal plan were included to ensure developers built affordable and accessible housing, as well as have units filled by the people who need them.
One incentive under the plan includes allowing developers to build larger structures with more units – an increase of up to 20 per cent – for structures containing affordable and accessible units.
The developers on this project were the first ones to take advantage of the incentives, the mayor said at a previous meeting.
With the town's amendment, there will be a memorandum of understanding, which will go in front of the council for approval, said Grant.
"I urge council to please be vigilant on this issue so that we ensure that people who need the affordable units get them and that these affordable units aren't simply filled by people who don't need them," she said.
During the meeting, the mayor also addressed the traffic issue at the intersection of Marr and Chapel roads that councillors and residents raised during a public hearing last month. The town will move ahead with addressing the traffic and installing lights in the 2022 budget process, she said.
In August, some residents raised concerns about the heavy traffic at the intersection, saying traffic lights must be installed if the project was to move forward.
Business owner Les Gillete, who represents several businesses at Chapel Place, said at the time the plan would make it easy for tenants to take a shortcut through the business area's parking lot, instead of the driveway designed for them.
"There are some grave concerns with that because we already have an extremely dense, high-use parking lot," Gillete said. "We really are at over-capacity as it is."
During Monday's meeting, Grant said there's a general agreement that traffic lights are needed "the sooner, the better."
"This, I think, is a separate issue from the development and there is nothing about it in the development agreement," Grant said, adding the issue is on the town's radar.
Robin Grant, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal