Resistance to museum renovation plans evaporates

The public hearing on plans to expand the MacBride Museum ended with more of a whimper than a bang.

The public hearing on plans to expand the MacBride Museum ended with more of a whimper than a bang.

No one showed up for the hearing during Tuesday night’s council meeting. It lasted just long enough for Mayor Dan Curtis to ask three times if anyone from the public had something to say.

The lack of attendance may have something to do with the fact that new plans for the expansion mean the only thing council has left to decide is if the museum will be exempt from the requirement for 12 parking spots.

The original design would have required much more approval from council. The first incarnation did not comply with a city requirement that waterfront buildings have a front yard space and was not in line with the city’s guidelines for waterfront buildings.

But earlier this month the museum submitted new plans and the city said those two concerns were no longer an issue.

Those new designs have not been made public.

Jeff O’Farrell, the city’s manager of legislative services, told council the city received 15 written comments about the museum’s original plans.

Fourteen were positive and one was negative, he said.

Earlier this year the museum got $6 million from the territorial and federal governments for the project.

The original design was slated to add 1,700 additional square metres in museum space.

Now that the public hearing portion of the process is over, council will receive a written report on Oct. 17 and vote Oct. 24 on whether or not to grant the museum a parking exemption.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

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