Tue | May 17, 2022

KSAMC wants brakes on Acadia apartment complex

Published:Thursday | January 20, 2022 | 12:10 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter
An aerial photograph of the multi-storey development on Evans Avenue in St Andrew on Friday, September 25, 2020. It's at the centre of a court case filed by the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation.
An aerial photograph of the multi-storey development on Evans Avenue in St Andrew on Friday, September 25, 2020. It's at the centre of a court case filed by the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation.

The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) has applied for an injunction to immediately halt construction of a St Andrew apartment complex it claims is in contravention of the approved building plan.

The development, which is at 9 Evans Avenue in Acadia, St Andrew, was first hit with a cease-and-desist order by the KSAMC in October 2020 after a Sunday Gleaner investigation raised questions about the alleged breaches.

The hearing for the injunction, which is now being sought against the developer, Orphious Stennett (first respondent) and Jennifer Graham (second respondent) started on Tuesday in the Supreme Court but has been adjourned to January 25.

According to the corporation, it had approved the construction of four two-bedroom units, eight one-bedroom units, and six studios, but it found that the developer did not conform with the building plan that was approved on November 6, 2019.

The corporation is seeking several orders, including a declaration that Stennett and his agents or servants have breached the Planning Act, the Town and Country Planning and Development Order, the Building Act 2018, and an injunction to stop any further construction on the property.

BREACHES COMMITTED

The corporation wants the court to also declare that the developer or his agents committed the breaches by increasing the number of habitable rooms and balconies, bumping up the quantity of bedrooms in some units, converting powder rooms into balconies and living rooms into bedrooms, and building partitions to facilitate the conversion of open spaces into bedrooms.

It also argued that the approved floor plan was altered, converting the majority of amenity space on the roof into habitable rooms and changing the elevation of the building.

The developer was, last September, ordered to revert to the approved building plan after the KSAMC had observed several modifications and had served a cease-and-desist notice.

Members of the Acadia Citizens' Association raised concerns about the alleged building breaches from as early as July 2019.

The residents were concerned that the developer was constructing more rooms than had been approved by the building and planning authorities.

They were equally concerned about the storage of construction material on the public thoroughfare, noise level from steel cutting, work being done outside of permitted hours, and dust emission, among other issues..

Attorney-at-law Cardena Clarke is representing Stennett and Graham.

tanesha.mundle@gleanerjm.com