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No quick fix for Summerside housing crisis; task force recommends swath of changes to help spur development


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SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — After 9 months of labor, Summerside metropolis council has its attainable housing job drive’s suggestions in hand – however don’t anticipate any proverbial silver bullets to unravel the housing disaster to be contained inside.

Relatively, it recommends a number of adjustments town may make to its insurance policies, official plan and simply typically the best way it offers with the housing growth from begin to end.

New kinds of housing are wanted; peak, density, parking, setbacks and flooring space ratios may all be reviewed; pre-approved housing designs ought to be thought-about; zoning legal guidelines will have to be up to date– and so forth.

The duty drive, the creation of which was a key election promise of Mayor Dan Kutcher, introduced its report in the course of the Nov. 7 council assembly.

Explaining its considerably technical suggestions fell to Samantha Murphy, an unbiased land use planner and facilitator who labored with the committee.

Murphy bottom-lined town’s present scenario: Summerside will not be constructing sufficient houses to fulfill present or future wants and if the neighborhood doesn’t make some adjustments, it is going to proceed to face vital challenges on this entrance.

Samantha Murphy, an independent land use planner and facilitator who worked with Summerside’s attainable housing task force presents the committee’s recommendations to council during the Nov. 7 meeting. - Colin MacLean/SaltWire
Samantha Murphy, an unbiased land use planner and facilitator who labored with Summerside’s attainable housing job drive presents the committee’s suggestions to council in the course of the Nov. 7 assembly. – Colin MacLean/SaltWire

A few of these wanted adjustments are already underway, others will take years to implement totally.

“The housing scenario is multifaceted, which implies the options (additionally) need to be. There are a variety of shifting items they usually have to be coordinated,” stated Murphy.

“The town’s largest message, particularly for areas that they management, is that the present atmosphere, the present insurance policies and requirements are a part of the issue. We have to discover other ways of making housing and supporting a variety of housing selections over time that permit us to hurry issues up. It’s not simply constructing extra of what we’ve at all times constructed, quicker.”

In brief, a lot of Summerside’s plans and insurance policies associated to housing had been written at a time when town couldn’t have conceived the potential for its present development, they usually have to be completely up to date.

Talking to reporters after the assembly, Kutcher stated the report was a superb first step to coping with the housing disaster and subsequent yr’s official plan assessment might be one other.

Summerside Mayor Dan Kutcher says that now that the city’s attainable housing task force has delivered its recommendations the hard work of implementing those policies will begin. - Colin MacLean/SaltWire
Summerside Mayor Dan Kutcher says that now that town’s attainable housing job drive has delivered its suggestions the laborious work of implementing these insurance policies will start. – Colin MacLean/SaltWire

A municipality’s official plan is actually its guidebook that ensures all its choices in the end work in the direction of a standard purpose. Such paperwork are periodically up to date (Summerside’s final was in 2015) and there’s one other assessment scheduled for 2024.

That’s the place a variety of the suggestions introduced by the committee might be fleshed out and might begin making a distinction in the neighborhood, stated Kutcher.

“Virtually, the implementation workforce must get in place … and we’re going to need to undergo the suggestions and ensure we’re performing on them,” stated Kutcher. “Plenty of the large heavy lifting items listed below are land use planning from a coverage perspective.”

Kutcher harassed that the committee’s work was very a lot a “the 1st step,” whereas “step two” might be implementing the suggestions – which council doesn’t intend to waste any time doing.

“This isn’t going to be a report that finally ends up on a shelf. It will inform our housing provide technique that might be built-in into our official plan.”

Colin MacLean is a reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He could be reached by e-mail at [email protected] and adopted on X @JournalPMacLean

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