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Aerial view of land proposed for rezoning (Supplied by Town of Riverview)

Two Riverview apartment buildings pass first reading

By Allan Dearing May 10, 2023 | 6:39 AM

A public hearing to rezone land for new apartment buildings in Riverview heard opposition from numerous residents.

Diallo Developments proposes to build two three-storey buildings with 67 units each on vacant wooded land between Riverview High School and homes on Buckingham Avenue.

Developers Yero Diallo and Maulen Kalau told council they arrived in Greater Moncton as international students and are now Canadian citizens who as renters saw a need for more housing in the community.

The developers said they will allocate between 10 and 25 percent of the units as affordable, according to the CMHC definition.

While the original proposal called for two four-storey structures, the developers said they listened to residents about preserving privacy and reduced the building height to three storeys.

Revised plans from developers, two three-storey buildings (Supplied by Town of Riverview)

Town council heard from residents both in-person and through letters and while traffic congestion was a common concern, other issues included public safety, a lack of privacy even with a tree buffer, deforestation, displacing wildlife, drainage and snow removal.

Wendy Lewis, who has lived at 280 Buckingham for 28 years, said she was very disappointed by the proposal.

“We’ve been told by the town that parking and things on the street will be managed by street bylaws. They can’t do that now. So how are they going to do it with at least 200 or more cars in that area going in and out?” asked Lewis.

Deputy mayor Wayne Bennett said he noted many vehicles when he visited Buckingham on two recent weekdays.

“One afternoon, I counted 38 cars parked on the side of the street. The next day I think there were 32 or 33, which is a fair amount on that road.”

Remi Richard, who lives at 290 Buckingham, said public safety is already an issue near the two pathways leading to Riverview High.

“There are no lights at those crosswalks. I’ve seen many close calls over the last few years. Students are just walking out onto the crosswalks with cars parked on either side and of course sometimes they’re in the blind spot.”

Councillor Cecile Cassista was worried about the town’s low vacancy rate and the need for more housing.

“We have newcomers coming to Riverview. I certainly think that we need to be putting these people in quality homes, not in ghettos.”

Cassista also expressed concerns about turning away developers when the town continues to say it’s open for business.

Last month, the Riverview Planning Advisory Committee recommended that council not adopt the rezoning bylaw due to traffic and safety concerns.

Following the public hearing, council held its regular meeting and voted in favour of first reading of the rezoning bylaw.

Two nay votes came from Councillors Sarah Murphy and Jeremy Thorne.

Second and third readings of the bylaw are scheduled for the next regular council meeting on June 12.


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