Charlottetown orders developer to clean up excavated property

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The City of Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island has ordered the developer of a property at the corner of Grafton and Prince streets to clean things up, reports The Guardian.

Last November, the city issued a permit to fill in the excavated property but the big hole was never filled in. The permit giving the developer the right to proceed has or is just about to run out while the city has issued a compliance order, which basically means the site needs to be cleaned up.

“It’s either pull the trigger or pack up and go home,’’ Coun. Rob Lantz, chair of planning and heritage, said following council’s regular public monthly meeting on Sept. 9.

The developer had proposed a four-storey condominium but plans appeared to fall apart late last year when Lantz said there just wasn’t enough density to make it work for the interested party.

Lantz told council he was talking to the developer two weeks ago and there is interest there now in proceeding. However, the permit was never picked up and is set to expire.

“At this point there are some concerns about safety and unsightliness and everything else but my understanding is that there is at least two people interested in pursuing the project,’’ Lantz said.

“The original developer now seems to be willing and able to move forward. The whole project had been for sale at one point and there was an interested party who was seriously looking at picking it up and moving forward.’’

Lantz said it would be a shame to force the developer to fill in the hole and excavate it all over again. He was told the cost to excavate the property the first time was $30,000.

“I know it’s a project that’s operating on fairly slim margins, at best. We did agree, at the request of one particular developer, to enter into an agreement under our heritage incentive program. The cost of filling that hole in and digging it back out again would just nullify any benefit he would get from that incentive program.’’

The compliance order could mean anything, from filling in the hole to repairing the fence or simply cleaning up garbage.The property is located inside the heritage preservation area so any project would have to be vetted by heritage board first.

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