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Posted: May 1, 2019

20-unit apartment project passed

City of Cranbrook council April 29 unanimously approved zoning and official community plan amendments making way for a 20-unit BC Housing apartment on 21st Avenue South.

Prior to making a decision, council heard from two area residents who spoke against Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 3963, 2019 & Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3964, 2019 (BC Housing #126 – 21st Avenue South) during a public hearing at city hall.

A property neighbour said parking in the area is already a problem and traffic will create safety concerns and said she prefers the four-plex nature of the property.

Another resident spoke against the proposal citing concerns about traffic, parking, noise, garbage and safety impacts.

Local Homeless Outreach and Prevention coordinators spoke in favour of the application, noting the “desperate” need in the community for the housing.

Coun. Mike Peabody said the need for housing in the city “greatly outweighs some of the negative repercussions we might have from the increase in traffic. When you hear stories about people sleeping in their cars with their kids because they don’t have a home to go to, that impacts me.

While noting some concern about parking, Coun. Ron Popoff said, “We need housing.”

Coun. Norma Blissett said “it is a very good location for people to walk and access the bus system. It seems like a good fit.”

She also noted there are BC Housing rules tenants must follow, whereas single family homes have none.

“Housing is an important issue in our community,” added Coun. Wes Graham.

“Let’s be honest; anyone of us who are going to be right next to it, are not going to like it,” said Coun. Wayne Price, noting he feels for neighbouring residents. “We do have a crisis in Cranbrook; a housing need. It’s for the greater good. Unfortunately there are some people who will be impacted by it.”

Mayor Lee Pratt said he finds some residents “tend to degrade” people who live or may move into apartment buildings “before they even live there. This housing project could be a number of elderly people who aren’t going to be driving a lot of cars and making a lot of noise; so that remains to be seen.”

Council approved rezoning the property R-2 to R-6 (High Density Multiple Family Residential Zone) and the OCP amendment changes the designation from medium density residential to high density residential to facilitate the redevelopment.

BC Housing is proposing to replace the two existing four-plex buildings (eight dwelling units) with a new, 20-unit, four-storey apartment building. The application notes the proposal will include 20% barrier free units, green space and an on-site playground, outlines an Office of Innovation and Collaboration report to council.

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