New plan for Saint Andrews heritage

John Gardner photo The vacant lot on Water Street in the historic business district in Saint Andrews between the Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre and the Treadwell Inn.

Saint Andrews – A public consultation meeting was held Tuesday, February 18, for the public to take a closer look at the proposed The Historic Business District and Town Plat & Environs Secondary Municipal Plan as part of the Saint Andrews Municipal Plan.

The meeting was timely as there are currently three properties up for development in the historic business district, including the HMS property, the former Sweet Harvest Country Market location and the vacant lot between the Sunbury Shores Nature Center and the Treadwell Inn.

The plan has been in the works since April 2018 when planners with the Southwest New Brunswick Service commission began to create what is being described as a hybrid guide.

The plan is based on a number of elements including existing municipal by-laws, and the Saint Andrews Civic Trust Handbook.

Community planner Alexander Gopen noted that the community is unique in it’s gridded street pattern in the historic plat, as well as the dense urban fabric of a mix of commercial on street level and residential units above.

One area of great concern for the town is parking in the business district. It is an area that is being examined with one possibility having parking available on the outskirts of town, and then shuttle services into the core.

“It is very hard to imagine parking in downtown Saint Andrews now,” said Gopen.

Gopen caused concern amongst citizens that attended the meeting as well as a related meeting a few nights later when he commented that he does not feel that it is possible to build a new structure in a period style using modern building material.

“One thing that makes buildings look old is that they have had time to age.” Gopen went on to say that people should build taking inspiration from the heritage buildings, but that “It is possible but that it takes great skill and great expense.

The Historic District and Town Plat & Environs Secondary Municipal Plan is moving closer to adoption, but will not be fully implemented until after the municipal election in May.