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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Birch Cove plan draws big turnout

Residents concerned about traffic, view planes.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 4:00 AM

About 200 people crammed into the tiny St. Peter's Church off Kearney Lake Road Monday night to give their opinions on the rollout of the Birch Cove Urban Design Study.

City staff and planners from Ekistics, a Dartmouth design firm, presented a "consensus plan" for land that includes the Chinatown restaurant on the Bedford Basin, Irving Oil and Farmer Clem's on the water side of the Bedford Highway and, moving up the hill, St. Peter's, United Gulf and Wedgewood Motel property.

The proposal calls for a roundabout to replace the present Kearney Lake/Bedford Highway intersection, two 12-storey "mid-rise" towers on the Chinatown land and five other four- to eight-storey "low-rise" buildings in the areas. It includes a waterfront trail/boardwalk, a marina and several plazas making up a "village cluster" concept.

Residents' concerns were primarily about increased traffic from the 400 to 500 residential units and more commercial properties in the plan, and about a reduction in view planes. (Presently, property owners can build up to 35 feet, but unlike in the plan, no views at all are protected.)

For more on the situation, see tinyurl.com/birchcove.

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