Hurdles cleared for 292-unit housing project
City of Cranbrook council Feb. 19 passed legislation allowing the construction of a 292-unit housing project on a property at 804 Innes Avenue.
Council hosted a public hearing and a special council meeting Wednesday for Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 3996, 2019 and Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3997, 2019. Following the hearing, council passed the third reading and adoption of the two bylaws.
Council gave second reading to the bylaws on Jan. 6 and set a public hearing date for Jan. 27. However, “given the number of concerns and questions raised by the public, it was recommended the public hearing for the two amendments be postponed in order to give the applicant more time to better answer some of the questions regarding the proposed development,” explained a report to council by Development Services’ Rob Price.
The application by Broadstreet Properties / Seymour Pacific Development Ltd. is for a housing development to be built in two phases, including four apartment buildings of 63 dwelling units each and 10 four-plex buildings with 40 dwelling units, comprising 292 units overall.
“In their application, the applicants explain 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,” the city report stated.
“Many of the questions raised regarding infrastructure, storm water and traffic impacts are typically addressed as part of the development process and Building Permit stage which is subsequent to rezoning. However, the applicants have already initiated a traffic impact study which is currently in the draft stage. It is understood that the study may recommend some local intersection improvements. A property study assessing infrastructure and storm water requirements of the development is also currently underway but not completed at the time of writing this report.”
On February 5, Broadstreet Properties staff held a neighbourhood open house meeting with area residents at T.M. Roberts School to discuss the development and answer questions.
“In addition, the applicant has provided a parking rational showing other apartment complexes they own with lower parking space provisions in support of their requested lower parking space requirement for the proposed Innes Avenue apartments units,” noted the city report.
Additionally, the Advisory Planning Commission reviewed the proposed OCP and zoning amendments and recommended council approve them. And the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure indicated no concerns with the development and on February 10, approved the zoning bylaw.
“Following the initial OCP public consultation circulation and up to the time of writing this report, an additional (10) written and email responses have been received asking questions and generally opposed to the proposed development. At the time of writing this report two additional letters have been received for a total of 17 letters overall to date. One of the new letters is in support of the project and one letter was concerned with unleashed dogs from large developments and the potential impact on birds around Elizabeth Lake,” the city report said.
Staff comments in the report 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.
City staff also note the area 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.
Lead image: Map noting location of proposed development. City of Cranbrook council agenda