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Brooklyn rezoning proposal voted down

BROOKLYN - The Region of Queens Municipality’s council defeated a recommendation to rezone 119 Nickerson Pond Rd. in Brooklyn at a special council meeting following a public hearing Jan. 9.
Mayor David Dagley abstained from voting, but all seven Region of Queens councillors voted against the proposal.
The region’s planning department received an application from the owners of the Brooklyn property, which proposed rezoning it from general residential (R2) to multiple unit residential (R3).
During public comments, Nickerson Pond Road resident Darrell Arenburg expressed his concerns about the “well water situation.”
“There’s just not enough water to go around to put that kind of a unit there,” he said, referring to the potential of a 10-dwelling unit.
He believes that people with dug wells would have a problem.
Sheila Whynot, another Nickerson Pond Road resident, said she doesn’t agree with the idea of rezoning the land.
“I moved up there for a reason – to get out of the town and to be able to have privacy,” she said.
Whynot said if there were a 10-unit development, there might not be the same privacy. She said she doesn’t think Nickerson Pond Road is the appropriate place for the development.
Resident David Nickerson said there’s very little crime in the neighbourhood and everyone gets along well. He expressed concern about the possibility of a high concentration and turnover of residents if there were rental units.
Jeff Smith, owner of the property, also spoke.
“We purchased the property about a year ago – not quite a year ago now,” said Smith. “I think when we made the application we were under the assumption that we were going to build a 10-unit there.”
He said the plan to build a 10-unit dwelling was not “set in stone.”
Smith said he’s trying get the land rezoned to allow the possibility of building something in the future.
“If it’s working together with you guys, it doesn’t have to be 10 units,” he said. “It could be four units, it could be two units, it could be anything.”  
During the special council meeting, deputy mayor Susan MacLeod asked whether row housing of up to five units permitted in the present zoning, general residential (R2), rules would qualify for the type of development Smith would like to build.
Mike MacLeod, planner for the region, said the current zoning would allow Smith to develop row houses of up to five units on the property.
“The zoning is just pertaining to the footprint of the property owned by this individual, not for the whole area,” said Susan in clarification for public.  

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