City considering rezoning for 292-unit development project
City of Cranbrook council is readying for a public hearing covering a 292-unit development, consisting of four apartment buildings with 63 units each and 10 four-plexes with 40 units.
Council Jan. 6 unanimously approved second readings of OCP Amendment Bylaw No. 3996, 2019 and Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3997, 2019, covering an official community plan amendment to allow for rezoning of 804 Innes Avenue South to allow for the proposed development by Broadstreet Properties / Seymour Pacific Development Ltd.
There will now be a public hearing scheduled for Monday, January 27 at 6 p.m. at city hall.
Council gave first readings to Bylaw No. 3996 on December 9, 2019.
Changing the designation of the property from ‘Low Density Residential’ to ‘Medium Density Residential’ will enable consideration of rezoning the property.
The proposed housing development is indicated to be built in two phases. The applicants note the project includes a central amenity park area with a children’s playground, fenced garden area and dog space.
“Staff are working with the applicant to create a custom comprehensive development zone that encompasses the specific residential uses, density and parking to be provided. The applicant has been looking for suitable development property in the area for some time and has a made a conditional offer to purchase the subject property. Pending council approval of the proposed OCP and Rezoning Bylaws, and approval of a Development Permit, the applicant intends to compete the purchase of the property,” outlined a city staff report.
The report’s staff comments note the OCP supports the efficient use of existing infrastructure and infill development in areas that are identified as underdeveloped.
“Sustainable residential development is supported in the OCP through the following policies: the intensification of land uses and including opportunities for the integration of mixed-use development nodes; moving towards achieving a higher proportion of multi-family residential units to single- family detached development; the dedication of parks and open space; provision for connections to existing sidewalks, pathways, and trail networks; encouraging development within close proximity to existing transit corridors.”
The report also notes the area already has a mix of low, medium, and high density, OCP land use designations.
“Properties in the immediate area are zoned for a range of housing types including: single, two and four family dwellings, mobile homes, townhouses, and apartment dwellings. The property is situated within walking distance to several schools, with access to bus routes and natural areas. In 2017, council approved OCP and rezoning changes for an adjacent property to the subject property, owned by Terrim Property Management Ltd., to a high density OCP land use designation and zoning,” the report stated.
Prior to the Monday evening meeting, the city had received two verbal responses with one containing general questions about the development, and the other opposed to the development.”
Some concerned residents were also seated in the gallery.
Coun. Ron Popoff suggested administrative staff attempt to answer questions about the process from people seated in the gallery to help alleviate stress surrounding it before the Jan. 27 public hearing.
“We’ve got a multitude of questions and concerns here and they’re very legitimate. Certainly, they are looking for assurances,” said Coun. Wayne Price, noting council wants the same assurances.
“We’re optimistic that if this does go through and all these assurances are met, it could be quite beneficial to the area and improve some of the existing problems that are there.”
With that in mind he noted “we could be all over the map here tonight” if city staff was tasked with answering questions from the gallery about it, Price said.
He added that he encourages residents to submit comments and questions about it to the city before the public hearing.
“I can assure the residents that this is just the first step,” said Mayor Lee Pratt.
“When a developer comes to town and wants to do a development there is a lot of hoops that he has to jump through. All the stuff like the sidewalks, the storm drain, sewer and the water – all the infrastructure has to be met and it’s a long process to get into that. Right now, we could talk a lot about it but it’s going to be between our engineering department and the developer when he wants and it might not be what he wants he gets,” he explained, adding, “But we do appreciate your concerns and your letters. We do listen… and we encourage you to come to the public hearing and you do have a chance to speak at the public hearing and your voice will be heard.”
Lead image courtesy City of Cranbrook council agenda package