Saturday, August 2, 2014

Land Inventory Review highlights need for proactive planning

City Planner Zeno Krekic continued his seminar sessions for Prince Rupert City Council on Monday evening, providing for the second of his recent overviews on planning,  this one offering up a look at his work on the Land Based Inventory for the city.

(You can review his previous seminar on Housing stock in the city here)

Mr. Krekic and his team, consisting of Robin Lapointe, Ian Hurston and Brad Pollard (who was not available for the presentation on Monday night) have been collecting data regarding the nature of available land in the city.

Marking off the scope of land that is owned by the city, through private ownership or Crown Land within the city boundaries and identifying some of that land for potential development uses.

From that statistical overview they highlighted that at the moment there are 209 municipal lots in the municipal reach, 299 privately owned lots and 7 lots in possession of the Crown.

Mr. Krekic highlighted that the majority of the available lots are of residential status in the city.

Chart of Lot availability in Prince Rupert
Vacant Lots by Zone

The Presentation stressed for Council the need to take a proactive approach to future development, calling on the experiences of Mr. Lapointe and Mr. Krekic as to the impact that the major developments have had on the Kitimat area.

Mr. Lapointe observed that in a short period of time, Kitimat which at one time had a very high vacancy rate. However the community quickly found a scarcity of accommodation for those arriving in the city, once major developments for the Kitimat area began to take shape.

Calling the arriving workforce to the Kitimat area part of the shadow population, he highlighted that some of the larger issues that business operators in Kitimat had were not to find workers for the positions that were available, but rather to find accommodation for potential employees.

From that situation Mr. Lapointe offered up the suggestion that making plans ahead of the curve of development might provide the City of Prince Rupert with a more proactive approach to some of the housing issues for that shadow population, calling their arrival a substantial impact that would arrive with any major development.

Further to that theme, in the review of the Land Base Inventory, Mr. Krekic highlighted that the initial observations from their project suggest that with development will come a demand for camps, single family homes and apartments.

As well, some of the land use will be dedicated towards light industrial uses and lay down areas, large tracts of land used for staging supplies by project developers.

Overview Map of potential development
Target areas for further study of development

As part of the analysis, Mr. Krekic identified two areas of interest for development, directing council's attention towards the Shawatlans Road area.

Suggesting its suitability for a mix of residential and light industrial for that area.

As well, he highlighted the corridor along the Ridley Island Access Road, which he observed is an area where the City is providing a focus towards regarding industrial development.

Shawatlans Road 

Ridley Island Access Road

They outlined the path ahead for the project, which they described as a work in progress and one which is making use of a fairly limited budget and a compressed timeline to deliver results for Council.

Mr. Krekic, provided a bit more background on some of the facets of their review and reviewed of the steps that the City would have to approach.

Particularly when it comes time to move forward on developing some of the land identified from the overview.

He advised that he and his team would be working on into September and advised Council that he would have a further more detailed update on the project later in that month.

There were no questions from Council members of Mr. Krekic or his team following the presentation, which ran just over twenty minutes.

It being early in the process, the scope of his work on both the Housing Stock review and Land Base Inventory has yet to be provided on the City's Projects page of the City Website.

You can review the full presentation from the City's Video Archive, the slide show and overview starts at the 58 minute mark and continues on through until the one hour twenty minute mark.

For more items of interest from City Council see our archive page here.

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