District 10 Green candidate calls for improved consultations on zoning decisions

Chris van Ouwerkerk, the Green Party of PEI candidate in the District 10 Charlottetown-Winsloe byelection, is calling for greater openness and transparency on zoning decisions.

“When I speak to members of the community, I keep hearing that they are worried and confused by decisions on new developments,” said van Ouwerkerk. “We are all aware of the need for increased housing in the Greater Charlottetown Area, and nobody is opposed to new development.  This is a great place to live. But it often feels like the communities in Sherwood and Winsloe are not given the same opportunity for public input that the older areas of the city receive.”

Van Ouwerkerk pointed to the results of last night’s Charlottetown Council meeting as an example of the issues being faced by the district.  “Council approved the change of use for the new development at 45 Towers Road from a 90-bed community care facility to a 74-unit apartment building.  That raises so many questions. How does that happen when construction has already begun? Who in the community has been consulted? Most importantly, how will this impact on the well-being of both current and future residents?”

During last night’s meeting Council also agreed to proceed with public consultation to discuss rezoning for 200 units on Sherwood Road, and announced that the completion of the Charlottetown Perimeter Highway Active Transportation Corridor would be spread over two years, rather than one.

“These are all critical development and land use decisions that will shape the future of the district. Residents must live with the consequences of these decisions for many decades. They deserve to have a voice in how their communities grow.  Unfortunately, the lack of meaningful consultation has left many residents feeling angry, confused, and powerless.”

“One of the reasons I decided to run is to provide the constituents of District 10 a strong voice. Grassroots democracy is one of the core principles of the Green Party, and if elected I will work to ensure residents are heard at all levels of government.”