Friday, August 1, 2014

Mr. Krekic's DPA proposal heads back to the shelf

The plan of City Planner Zeno Krekic to bring the Fraser Street area into the Downtown Permit Development Area was brought to a sudden halt on Monday evening, as Council engaged in a wide ranging discussion on the proposal and the impact that it many have on some of the property owners and businesses operating on the street.

The discussion came following a public hearing into the proposal prior to the Regular Council session, at that public forum a number of interested observers from the area provide their review of the proposal, which for the most part was a negative reaction to the plan.

As Councillor Thorkelson is involved with Fisherman's Hall, she excused herself from the conversation, leaving the discussion on the topic to the remaining councillors in attendance for the topic.

From the public participation aspect of the evening, Jim West and a representative of the Fisherman's Hall provided a fairly enthusiastic rebuttal of the proposal, highlighting the current state of repair of the roads, sidewalks and utilities of the area, as well as concerns over maintenance of city space in the area and snow removal issues to name a few.

Mr. West for his part outlined that had the city provided the long promised repairs to Fraser Street of the past, he might have been more inclined to support their plan at this time. Suggesting that should the city follow through on the plans for redevelopment, he could be swayed towards the proposed

The public hearing portion of the review came to an end after 51 minutes of discussion among Council members and those from the public that participated in the hearing.

When the process returned for Council's consideration later in the Regular session, Councillor Thorkelson again excused herself, while those others in opposition to the project began to make their points regarding the proposed amendment.

The cause of Mr. West, Fisherman's Hall and other business operators in the area was taken up by Councillors Cunningham, Kinney and Ashley, who all spoke to the need to address some of the concerns of the non-profit organizations that make up that portion of the area.

Only Councillor Garon appeared to hold to the original theme of the proposal from Mr. Krekic, that the amendment was designed to address an oversight of the past. One which had left Fraser Street outside of the DPA zone, she observed that Mr. Krekic's plan would bring the Fraser Street area into the guidelines that the city was trying to introduce regarding consistency in the downtown area.

As the conversation continued it became rather clear that the proposal was not going to find any traction with Council, with Councillor Cunningham in particular returning time and time again to the prospect of un-necessary potential burdens for some of the non-profit groups of the block.

The Mayor provided perhaps the final declaration on the issue, advising that he was also going to vote against the amendment to move the area into the DPA at this time. Highlighting the need for a wide range of improvements to Fraser Street before council should consider moving that street into the Development area requirements.

He suggested that the prospect would have a better reception from area residents and stand a better chance of approval in fourteen months or so, once the required repairs to street, sidewalk and utilities were started and completed.

As a closing comment on the theme of the DPA proposal, Councillor Ashley thanked Mr. Krekic for his work on the file and hoped he would not take the opposition to the amendment personally.

With that a majority of council members voted against the amendment.

You can review the discussion on the theme from our City Council Timeline and view the process from the City's Video Archive, the public hearing portion runs from the 6 minute mark to the 51 minute mark.

Council's deliberations from the Regular Council Session run from the 2 hour 8 minute mark to the 2 hour 29  minute mark.

Fore more items on City Council developments see our archive page.

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