Debate for and against modern condos at 19 Alan McLeod

Stonewall resident Cassey McNeil speaks in favour of the proposed multi family condo development at a public hearing on Aug. 22. (Brook Jones/Stonewall Argus & Teulon Times/Postmedia Netowrk)

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A proposed multi family condo development at 19 Alan McLeod Ave., in Stonewall brought out 217 residents to a public hearing. The avenue on the north side of Stonewall is named after Alan McLeod, Stonewall’s Victoria Cross hero.

The public hearing for the proposed development, which was held in conjunction with the Town of Stonewall’s regular council meeting Aug. 22, lasted more than two hours.

Residents, who packed the auditorium at the Quarry Park Heritage Arts Centre had the opportunity to speak in favour of the proposed development or express their concerns.

According to the developer, IV Development Solutions, Stonewall has one of the lowest supply of multifamily homes in Manitoba, therefore, they have proposed this development for 3.3 acres of land at 19 Alan McLeod Ave.

Celine Doll, who presented the proposed development on behalf of IV Development Solutions, noted the provincial average for multi family homes is 32%, whereas in Stonewall the average comes in at 12%.

Doll explained how the proposed project has been divided up into two phases. The first phase features high-end single-storey homes at 1,000 square feet with a single car garage or 1,3000 square feet with a double car garage. The price tag is between $335,000 and $425,000.

The second phase, which has a proposed development date of 2020, would offer single-storey condominiums in a two-storey building. These would be approximately 700 square feet, with two bedrooms and one bath. The proposed price starts under $200,000.

The majority of residents who spoke publicly at the public hearing spoke in opposition to the project, which is a proposed 86 unit development.

Seven residents spoke in favour of the proposal, whereas 12 spoke against the development.

Cassey McNeil spoke in favour of the proposal. She stated to town council that the option to purchase a home in Stonewall is not feasible for her family.

“I believe this proposal is a great idea for our community. We all deserve a chance at living comfortably and the choices in this town for in regards to the price market for houses is out of most of our budgets,” McNeil said.

Doug McMahon was the first of a number of residents to speak in opposition of the proposal.

“When we built our home nearly 30 years ago, the development was founded on the principal of single family dwellings with many people making their decision to settle in this area based on this principal. The property in question was zoned for single family use at the time and is still zoned that way and we believe should remain that way,” McMahon said. “Multi family use of this parcel (of land) is not consistent with the zoning or the character of the neighbourhood. The proposed development of the 86 units will increase the density of the entire neighbourhood by my account by about 50%.”

According to Stonewall council, the public hearing will resume on the conditional use for the development at the regular meeting of council on Sept. 26.