Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
A real estate developer is trying again to get a residential development going at the corner of 18th Street North and Braecrest Drive.
In 2012, the City of Brandon’s planning commission rejected an application from Caddy Lake Investments to build a seven-condo complex and a single-family lot at the site by a margin of four to one after members of the public voiced heavy objections to the project.
On Wednesday, the planning commission will consider a scaled-back development from the same company during a public hearing at city hall.
The new proposal would see the plot at 1230 18th St. North subdivided into five bare land condominium units and rezoned from a large, single residential lot space into a mixed space zoned for residential single detached, residential low density and open space zones.
One of the major factors that led to the original project’s defeat in 2012 related to concerns regarding how Braecrest could accommodate additional traffic and what potential problems it might cause.
As reported at the time by the Sun, Caddy Lake president and owner Jon Hooker presented a traffic survey he commissioned that was verified by city engineers showing that any traffic impacts would be minimal.
The traffic issue is once again a leading issue of opponents, according to Andrew Seitz, who has lived in the neighbourhood for 10 years and is against the new development. He’s surprised the topic of developing the land is even coming up again.
"This is a rerun — we dealt with this in 2012," Seitz said. "There were traffic issues ... a geologist spoke at that time about the effects of the water running down there and what it would help with destabilization."
Seitz is also concerned about water damage on the property caused by the big rainstorm on June 28, saying the land has destabilized and a big hole has been left in the ground.
"If you’re thinking of building on an area with running water, it doesn’t seem like a brilliant plan," he said.
He said that a questionnaire was circulated approximately six months ago asking if anyone had concerns about developing the lot, and according to him, most people did. There’s also a petition circulating in the neighbourhood gathering signatures of those against the project, which Seitz said he has signed.
When reached for comment, Hooker said the two proposals "aren’t that similar." For one thing, the condo units aren’t going to be multi-storey in the current proposal.
"It’s a lot less building on that site," Hooker said. "It is a huge site."
Hooker pointed out that there has been a large development on the other side of 18th Street since the last time they proposed development and hopes that the residents in the area have warmed up to a greater building density in the intervening years. Backing up his company on the new project is the city’s planning department, he said.
"This is going to be an upscale development," he said. "It’s going to be as valuable or more valuable than any of the properties there to date. I really don’t think they have any concerns. I’ve heard they want us to donate it, to keep it a green space. Well, you know, that’s not how it works. We have the right to develop that property."
Members of the public will be allowed to attend council chambers to voice their concerns on Wednesday, but attendance will be limited because of physical distancing concerns. The 7 p.m. meeting will also be broadcast live on the city’s YouTube page.
» Twitter: @ColinSlark
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