Friday, July 17, 2020 - 4:15 PM

Fast Facts on the Eric Street Development

Affordable Housing Logo

The City’s Affordable Housing Strategy outlines a commitment to identify land for affordable housing opportunities and to support partners as they work towards affordable home ownership opportunities. 

As part of the Affordable Housing Strategy, City Council approved a parcel of land at 28 Eric Street for potential redevelopment as affordable home ownership. A Letter of Intent with Habitat for Humanity NL was formalized on September 23, 2019, outlining the intended gifting of the property subject to successful rezoning, development approval, and collaboration with the Eric Street Community Garden.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that works to make affordable home ownership possible. They would lead the project, build the house, and select the homeowners through their process. More information about Habitat for Humanity can be found on their website.

City staff met with Habitat for Humanity NL and Eric Street Community Garden members to discuss the project on the property, including redevelopment of a portion of the land for affordable home ownership, and revitalization of the community garden, and on October 16, 2019, a meeting to discuss the potential project was held with the neighbourhood. 

An outline of the entire process can be found at https://www.engagestjohns.ca/eric-street

On October 28, 2019, Habitat for Humanity submitted a rezoning application, however some revisions were required. Staff recently received a revised site plan from Habitat for Humanity which is being evaluated. Following staff review, the application will be brought forward to Council for direction on the proposed rezoning. Should the rezoning application move forward, public consultation will be held.

Are there problems with sewage on this land?
Concerns from the neighbourhood were recently raised to the City that there is sewage leaking on the property. To the best of our knowledge, there is no sanitary sewer leaking underground at the property.

The City excavated some soil in the area (test pits) and tested the water in the area of the community garden. It tested positive for chlorine, which indicates that there is a possible watermain leak in the area. Staff will repair the watermain leak and investigate to ensure this and any other possible leaks are repaired.

During the excavation the City damaged the sanitary sewer lateral for #301 Hamilton Avenue. Staff replaced a longer section of pipe rather than just the damaged section as there were some cracks in the existing pipe. 
There is no evidence that the sewer pipe is leaking into the ground.

What will happen to the community garden if this project proceeds?
The Community Garden is integral to the neighbourhood. Should the project proceed, the City will contribute $2,500 toward the cost of materials to revitalize the garden. City staff would also support the garden members in their efforts to apply for additional funding opportunities to enhance the Eric Street Community Garden. Maintaining community garden spaces to allow people to grow their own food is an important part of the continued growth and redevelopment of our community.

Will the open space be lost if this project goes ahead?
No. The intent is for the garden to be incorporated into the project, while retaining open space zoning for public use.