Fredericton council mulls 400-unit housing project, concerns voiced over amenities – New Brunswick |

A new development planned for a neighbourhood in Fredericton is once again raising concerns about the rate of housing being built versus accompanying services and infrastructure.

Coun. Ruth Breen voiced that concern at a council meeting as it looks to approve nine four-storey apartment buildings on Lian Street.

“But, the development is growing and we’re continually approving the density but they’re not seeing the livable amenities that were promised in the plan,” she said, having heard from concerned residents in her ward.

Coun. Herni Mallet raised similar concerns about a six-storey development on Duncan Lane.

The area has no sidewalks and the nearest bus stop is across four lanes of highway.

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“I feel like, in this neighbourhood, we may not have been doing as well as we could,” Breen said. “So, I just wanted to challenge us all to keep that in mind and make sure our growth and live amenities matches density we’re approving with developers.”

The neighbourhood is dense, and the new development would add almost 400 new units.

She said there have been a lot of concerns about the further increase in vehicle traffic, parking, and snow removal. The area has also been slated to have a park for children, but it was delayed last year, according to the city.

Resident and the ward councillor say it is concerning that development is outpacing services and amenities.

“They’ve been waiting a long time, they’ve been waiting a long time,” Breen said. “It was to be finished last year, but really they’ve been talking about it for 12 years. It’s high time to get some swings in the ground.”

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The land is owned by J.D. Irving Ltd. and it hired Zzap Consulting Ltd. to do the development plan. The company has sold other land in the area for housing already building or under construction.

She said this isn’t a matter of J.D. Irving owning property or getting into housing, but rather as the land owner selling the property to developers.

It is simply about the exchange of land, she said.

“Once it’s complete, it’s frustrating when things are moving forward and we don’t have that finished product yet, but it’s a good plan and they’ve been good partners,” she said of both the development and J.D. Irving.

Meanwhile, Marcello Battilana, the city’s assistant director of planning and development, said the plan does fit well with the overall growth plan.

He said, though, given the housing crisis, the city cannot afford to wait or press pause on approving developments in order for services and amenities to catch up.

“What we need to do is make sure we get the right infrastructure and the right amenities in place as quickly as we can,” he said.

The development will go for a third reading on May 23.

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