Old hospital site will stay green, says Charlottetown mayor
Mayor Philip Brown says the City of Charlottetown has no intention of turning the old Prince Edward Island Hospital property into space for affordable housing.
The former hospital and seniors care facility is in the process of being torn down.
For years, the city has wanted that property to be turned over as green space, an extension of Victoria Park, while the previous provincial government seemed to be on board with that plan.
“No,’’ Brown said when The Guardian asked him if the city had any appetite to see the property turned over for affordable housing.
“This site is a beautiful site, but we have other sites in and around the city (for affordable housing).’’
Brown did list specific properties.
He said there is already one building going up on Acadian Drive, a partnership with the Kings Square Non-Profit Housing Corporation, the Sisters of St. Martha, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the city.
“The city is providing tax breaks over the next 20 years, from $250,000 we set aside to pay for permits and other associated costs with development. We’re allowing for bonus density on height (and) setbacks, whether it’s on the front yard, backyard, sideyard and for parking.’’
Brown said now that that project is underway, the city and other levels of government have to get busy with zeroing in on other properties.
Brown said, for example, if the city ultimately proceeds with a multi-pad arena, there’s a good chance the Charlottetown Curling Complex could be one of the tenants.
“They’ve already suggested if they were to become part of our new facility that (the former curling club property) would be converted over to the city (and) and the city, along with the Charlottetown Curling Complex, could demolish that building and make that space available for affordable housing.’’
Brown also points to land owned by the province on Upton Road, just north of the biocommons park, that is a prime spot for affordable housing.
And he cited yet another piece of land, provincial-owned property in the Hillsborough Park.
“There is land around (that could be used for affordable housing),’’ the mayor said.
It is certainly not new news that there is a housing crisis in Charlottetown.
The city recently completed a survey and hosted a public meeting on short-term rentals where the prevailing opinion from the public seemed to be that the municipality look at putting owner-occupied into the regulations.
There are more than 750 short-term rentals units in the city, according to Brown.
The city is considering all its heard and will come up with a plan that the public will get to hear in a another public meeting by the end of summer before a bylaw is adopted.
“We have to start looking at how we can make (short-term rentals) fit into the community we’re living in and what kind of options we will offer.’’