Developer wants to construct housing at old Credit Union

PORT HAWKESBURY: The town received an application from someone who wants to provide more housing in the town.

During a special virtual meeting of Port Hawkesbury Town Council on July 27, town councillor Blaine MacQuarrie shared a letter inquiring about the former East Coast Credit Union building on Reeves Street.

The letter was also sent to the town, as well as the Eastern District Planning Commission. In it, the developer is proposing an amendment to the town’s zoning by-law to allow for a four-unit housing development.

“Presently, demand for housing in the Town of Port Hawkesbury is extremely high,” the letter reads. “The existing C-5 zoning requires that a minimum of six units be constructed but this is not feasible given the limited square footage of the property.”

EDPC director John Bain said he spoke with the developer and will put together a staff report with options for town council since this is an amendment process and not a variance issue.

He recommended the town take the letter, write a staff report, then bring it to the planning advisory committee, and finally to council.

The lack of housing is a good enough reason for Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton to implore council to take a good look at this request.

“I think it certainly would be advantageous if we were to look at being able to potentially accommodate something that we know exists as a problem right now,” Chisholm-Beaton told council. “Another plus is we have little or no choices for accessible living rentals here in the Town of Port Hawkesbury.”