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Posted: January 20, 2015

Rezoning approved for subdivision beside auto wrecker

By Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

City of Cranbrook council last night approved a rezoning application that allows for the creation of 93 mobile home/single family lots on a 7.8 hectares (19.3 acres) lot adjacent to Cranbrook’s Industrial Park.

Council passed the third reading and adopted City of Cranbrook Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3816, shortly after holding a public hearing.

Two city residents spoke against the proposed rezoning application from the owner of the property located at the end of 6th Street NW, to enable consideration of residential development of the property.

Submitted plan for the proposed subdivision. Click to enlarge. Lead image: The subject property abuts Farbrook Auto Wreckers property. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW
Submitted plan for the proposed subdivision. Click to enlarge. Lead image: The subject property abuts Farbrook Auto Wreckers property. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

The property owner, Kimberley-based Bain Developments, applied to rezone the property from RT – Residential Transition Zone to R-7 Mobile Home and Single Family Residential Zone. Council approval enables the property owner to consider subdivision and development of the property.

A preliminary subdivision plan indicates about 93 lots for mobile home or single family dwellings, outlined a Corporate Services Department report to council.

The first person speaking against the proposal suggested the property isn’t the best location for a low-cost housing project, citing distance from downtown and stores.

Farbrook Auto Wreckers owner Chris Taylor, the final speaker, warned council of future noise and smell complaints coming from residents of the new subdivision, explaining how for about two months out of each year his business conducts vehicle crushing, which is noisy and sometimes smelly.

“To put a development on the upper side of our property could cause problems down the road with people not liking us there. I don’t believe it is the best location,” said Taylor, who has owned Farbrook for 23 years. The business has also been in its location since 1961.

Coun. Tom Shypitka
Coun. Tom Shypitka

Council arrived at the decision to approve the rezoning following an extensive discussion, with much of it centered on concerns for the existing business owner.

Coun. Tom Shypitka said Taylor “made a good point. It may not be quite compatible for people who move there. They’ve been in business a long time.”

Coun. Wes Graham suggested council only handle third reading and delay approval so more research into the concerns raised could be completed, noting the Kokanee Brewery in Creston as an example where a long-time established business steadily deals with complaints from more recently situated residents.

Mayor Lee Pratt argued that there was no reason to delay the rezoning.

“If we go to the next step the planning department will be dealing with it. If we prolong it we’re just spinning our wheels,” he said.

Coun. Wes Graham
Coun. Wes Graham

Chief administrative officer Wayne Staudt explained that once a subdivision plan is presented, city staff will begin working with the property owner and look at solving outstanding concerns.

Other council members expressed comfort with proceeding.

Satisfied that the city will have sufficient “hold back” from the developer and city staff can work on eliminating such things as future noise and smell complaints, Coun. Norma Blissett noted, “I feel comfortable with proceeding.”

Coun. Ron Popoff said that a proposed 10-metre buffer of thinly spaced trees between the subject property and Farbrook wouldn’t be sufficient to damped noise and smell but admitted he is confident that city staff would address concerns.

Coun. Isaac Hockley suggested that business coming to town trumps the concerns. “This is a developer who wants to come into our community,” he said.

Shypitka and Graham then stated they’re not opposed to the property owner’s potential plans, repeating their concern for Farbrook in the future.

“We have heard from a person who has owned his business a long time,” Shypitka said.

“We will be dealing with people from the new location,” Graham warned.

Council then unanimously passed the third reading, but the vote fell to four to two when it came to adoption, with Shypitka and Graham voting against it.

The first two readings of the bylaw were passed January 5 and on January 9, the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure approved the proposed zoning amendment.

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