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City of St. John's staff recommends approval for Pleasantville apartment building

A view of the proposed apartment building on East White Hills Road looking southwest. IMAGE COURTESY CARRICK ENGINEERING/COLLECTIVE ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN INC.
A view of the proposed apartment building on East White Hills Road looking southwest. IMAGE COURTESY CARRICK ENGINEERING/COLLECTIVE ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN INC.

Concerns raised about building height, parking, lack of services for seniors in area

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

St. John's city council members will likely decide on a recommendation from staff to approve an eight-storey seniors' apartment building proposal for Pleasantville at its regular public meeting on Monday.

The proposed building would include 101 units and replace an existing property at 45 East White Hills Rd, which was last used by the provincial government's forestry division.

The property is zoned institutional, which only permits seniors' apartment buildings three storeys in height. That height can be increased to 10 storeys if a land use assessment report (LUAR) is completed.

The proposal was initially for seven storeys and 72 units, but the LUAR submitted to the city in August revised those figures. After the application was advertised, a public meeting was held Oct. 30.

According to a direction note included in the agenda for Monday's council meeting, residents at the meeting expressed concerns about the building's proposed height, traffic and parking, and the concentration of seniors in an area lacking services they need. Disruption related to the building's construction was also brought up.

The majority of the site's apartments will be two bedrooms. There will be 32 parking spaces indoors and 70 parking spaces outside, which would be in compliance with city regulations. The direction note said the city's transportation engineer is satisfied local roads can handle the increased traffic and that the city has bylaws addressing construction activity. As for the building's height, the note said some views will be obstructed,   they are not protected under city regulations.

As for the LUAR, the note said it satisfies the terms of reference initially set by council. It indicated the proposal is aligned with the concept of creating a sustainable city and encouraging greater density.

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