Iqaluit says yes to subdivided lot in Apex
Existing lots not covered by trucked service policy
In a narrow vote Nov. 23, Iqaluit City Council decided to create a new lot in Apex, the first in at least seven years.
With four votes in favour and four against, the council voted to allow Apex homeowners Kirt Ejesiak and Madeleine Cole to subdivide their lot near the old Hudson Bay Co. buildings to construct another house there.
In 2006, the Iqaluit City Council decided to stop zoning for new lots in Apex after the council held a meeting there to hear directly from residents.
Before that, Iqaluit city policy has been to avoid creating new lots in areas that require trucked water and sewage services.
But Michele Bertol, the city’s director of lands, told Nunatsiaq News this policy doesn’t apply to existing lots, including the subdivison of those existing lots.
But even so, it’s the first new lot Bertol has seen in Apex since she started working in Iqaluit seven years ago.
She said the relevant decision the council had to make was whether the city should allow a new house that they would be required to service by truck.
There are several undeveloped lots in Apex whose owners may build houses that require trucked services, but the city won’t allow any new ones to be developed by scratch.
Coun. Mat Knickelbein — a longtime Apex resident — opposed the application because he knows many people in Apex who want to build new properties there but have been frustrated by the city’s no-new- lots policy for Apex.
“I can’t in my right mind justify that we can do that while others can’t,” he said.
Knickelbein said maybe it it’s time for the city to revisit the issue of whether to allow development in Apex.
“People really want to build down there,” he said.
Coun. Romeyn Stevenson agreed with Knickelbein’s concerns, but also worried about the visual impact on the old Hudson Bay Co. buildings nearby.
“We don’t have a lot of historical sites in this town that are visually pleasing,” he said. “It’s one of the nicest parts of our town for tourists to walk in.”
Stevenson also said he’s worried about creating a precedent by allowing a new Apex lot without first revising the city’s moratorium on development there.
“If we’re going to make an exception for this lot, why aren’t we going to make an exception for other lots?” he asked.
Coun. Jimmy Kilabuk dismissed such concerns, saying through interpretation, “When I hear people are envious, perhaps we should give them a soother… I see that as a childish attitude.”
Coun. Mary Wilman agreed that it’s time for the city to reconsider its moratorium on Apex development, because she said she’s heard from many residents who want to build new properties there.
As for the subdivision, “He [Ejesiak] can pretty much do what he wants with his own property,” she said.
Kilabuk, Wilman, Coun. David Ell and Coun. Simon Nattaq voted to approve the subdivision.
Knickelbein, Stevenson and Coun. Mary Akpalialuk voted against it.