Note: As always, the following post is written by myself as a tax paying citizen of Saint John, and do not reflect the views of any other group or organization!
Developers will soon ask city council for the green light to build more than 250 homes along Loch Lomond Road, but they will likely have to prove their projects pass the muster of the municipality’s new plan.
Two numbered companies and A. J. Mallette & Sons have proposed three separate developments on the east side artery. And they want to build fairly big subdivisions, ranging from 69 to 111 lots.
One of the proposed developments, a 69-lot subdivision on 2797 Loch Lomond Rd. near Greenwood, would be in a rural, non-serviced area.
The other two big proposals for Loch Lomond Road would not fall inside any of these targeted areas.
A numbered company proposes a 76-lot subdivision on 1429 Loch Lomond Rd., between Bon Accord Drive and Ganong Road. Another numbered company wants to build a 111-lot subdivision on 1515 Loch Lomond Rd., between Ganong Road and Pauline Street. Both proposals ask for zoning that would allow for one and two-family homes.
The issue is that this isn’t a test of PlanSJ – it’s a test of Council to actually follow the draft plan:
- The rural development plan definitely goes against PlanSJ. The plan is clear that growth outside the serviced areas of the city isn’t sustainable. There is room for minor development in the rural areas; but, it’s meant to be small growth on existing streets.
- The two suburban plans are also against the Plan. While these plans are both located inside the serviced area of the city, the Future Land Use Map identifies this area as Stable Residential and not inside an intensification area (meaning major change, such as two new subdivisions, is not planned here). See below for more information on Stable Residential areas – special emphasis on Policy LU-82 section f.
From the Draft Municipal Plan document (still open to citizen feedback):
3.5.4 Stable Community Areas
These lands are other developed lands inside the Primary Development Area identified as Stable Community Areas the City which are generally built-out and are not anticipated to receive major change over the planning period. Three land use designations are established in this Plan to provide policy direction for the future use of land in these areas:
Stable Residential Areas
Policy LU-80 Create the Stable Residential designation on the Future Land Use Map. Within the Stable Residential designation, housing of almost every form and density may be found and its acceptability is dependent on its specific location. In addition, other compatible uses may be found in the Stable Residential designation including convenience stores, home occupations, parks, and community facilities which are permitted in the designation without amendment to the Municipal Plan.
Policy LU-81 Intend that the areas designated Stable Residential will evolve over time from a land use perspective but that new and redeveloped land uses are to reinforce the predominant community character and make a positive contribution to the neighbourhood.
Policy LU-82 Ensure that significant new development and redevelopment in areas designated Stable Residential shall generally be permitted only subject to a rezoning process where compliance is demonstrated with the following criteria:
a. The proposed land use is desirable and contributes positively to the neighbourhood;
b. The proposal is compatible with surrounding land uses;
c. The development is in a location where all necessary water and sewer services, parks and recreation services, schools, public transit and other community facilities and protective services can readily and adequately be provided;
d. Site design features that adequately address such matters as safe access, buffering and landscaping, site grading and storm water management are incorporated;
e. An exterior building design of high quality is provided that contributes positively to
f. The proposal is on a property identified as a Corridor in the City Structure Map or new residential development to the Primary Centres, Local Centres, and Intensification Areas.
It will be interesting to see what Council decides. I will be watching to see if the draft plan is followed (and hopefully mentioned as part of the decision making process).
Ignoring this draft plan (and in turn the feedback from many citizens of Saint John over the past year and a half) would not instill a great deal of confidence in me that the finalized Municipal Plan, to be adopted this fall, will be followed going forward.