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Posted: April 13, 2022

46-unit project advanced to development permit stage

Kimberley City Council Report

By Nowell Berg

On April 11, City of Kimberley council held its regular bi-monthly meeting.

Councillors Kyle Dalum, Kent Goodwin, Nigel Kitto, Jason McBain, and Sandra Roberts were present along with Mayor Don McCormick. Coun. Darryl Oakley was absent.

Due to pandemic restrictions, the public and media are not allowed to attend Council Chambers. Meetings live stream on the City of Kimberley YouTube channel. Watch the archive here.

Zoning change approved for Tribus Developments

Tribus Developments submitted a proposal to build a multi-family residential complex on land next to Selkirk Secondary School on Phillips Road. The 46-unit building “will provide diverse, accessible, and pet-friendly rental housing,” said Tribus’s President Cal Harvey.

Troy Pollock, Manager Planning, told council the proposed zoning change “would allow for a greater number of residential units than the current R-3 zoning.”

The city received nine letters regarding the application, eight were opposed and one was in favour.

During the public hearing, several residents made their concerns known which revolved around increased traffic, particularly during winter. No sidewalks, narrow roads and an icy hill make for safety concerns for pedestrians and vehicles said participants.

In his detailed comments, Harvey said, “Let’s kill the conspiracy theory first. We are not building 70, 80, or 90 units.” The company has “consistently” told everyone, city and residents “there will only be 46 purpose build suites.”

He noted that during Tribus’ public engagement, the number one question they were asked, after traffic concerns, was, ‘How do I get my name on a rental waiting list?”

After the public hearing, council had its chance to comment and vote.

While agreeing the city needed “new rental stock,” Coun. Kitto said the “R3 zoning was adequate.” He didn’t see the need for a zoning change and voted against it.

Coun. Roberts said the tourist nature of the local economy requires affordable housing for low income workers. “If we don’t give people a place to live, we may as well shut down business as we know it because it [the city] will become undesirable or else [people] will be living in their cars.”

Responding to the traffic and safety concerns, which he noted were not really land use issues, Coun. McBain said, “We do need to think more broadly on how to get people down that hill in a safe way.”

Noting that multi-family units were going to be spread around town, Coun. Dalum said, “We’re not going to get a ghetto of low income housing [in one area] and basically a rotten seed in the city. Having diversified housing throughout the city is going to be a better benefit to the community as a whole.”

Coun. Goodwin said that he could “live with the existing zoning,” but also acknowledged the need for more affordable housing. Regarding resident issues, “The concerns people raised will be there regardless of which way we zone this.”

Mayor McCormick said the Tribus project would be “the first of several multi-family units.” Adding an increase in affordable housing will “keep rents down and help reduce the upward [price] pressure on homes being sold.”

In a four to one vote, council adopted the zoning change allowing the project to proceed to the development permit stage.

Resort Development Strategy (RDS)

Chief administrative officer Scott Sommerville informed council the city received confirmation, on March 25, of a three-year renewal to the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI). It collects a hotel room tax to help fund tourist initiatives.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, which manage the RMI program, requires the city to submit a Resort Development Strategy (RDS) by the end of April.

Sommerville told council there would be “$420,000 to spend over the next three-years.” Over 70% of that money must be spent on infrastructure. The remaining funds can be used for programs, services and administration.

Given the short turnaround time to compile the RDS and present it to council for approval before the deadline, the city has been scrambling to gather feedback from stakeholders like Tourism Kimberley, the Chamber of Commerce and Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. Residents are also encouraged to submit their ideas through the Engage Kimberley platform.

Coun. Kitto, who sits on the TK Board, echoed Sommerville’s concern over the deadline noting there was “stakeholder frustration with not a lot of time for consultation.”

Building Permit Update

Troy Pollock, Manager Planning, present the first quarter (Jan. to March) building permits report.

He said that permit application fees collected by the city are “quite a ways ahead of the previous few years.”

So far, the city has collected $15,000 in planning application fees. Last year, the Q1 fees were just over $10,000.

With affordable housing a key issue in front of council, Pollock noted, “new dwelling units – we’re right on track with last year.” To date, 14 new dwelling permits have been issued compared to 15 at the same time in 2021.

Pollock expects this year’s total home building to be similar to last, which came in at 71 dwellings.

Kimberley city council meets twice monthly starting at 7 p.m. The next scheduled regular council meeting is April 25.

Lead image: Map showing proposed site of 455 Phillips Road development. City of Kimberley council agenda


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