Friday, June 12, 2015

Councillor Thorkelson looks to include Senior's Housing in Park Avenue Development planning

City Planner Zeno Krekic discussed
the Park Avenue housing proposal
at Monday's Council session

Prince Rupert City Council reviewed the latest plans related to the Park Avenue Housing development on Monday evening, receiving a report from City Planner Zeno Krekic related to the process ahead for that high profile project for the west side of the city.

Among the items discussed was the need for the acquisition of residential properties in the area as part of a road development aspect of the proposed development.

Councillor Thorkelson offered up a number of questions related to the proposed amendment, seeking further clarification on those property acquisition requirements, asking why so many residential properties needed to be acquired from the City of Prince Rupert.

City Planner Zeno Krekic noted the roadway requirements into Section Two and how the developer wishes to gain further benefits from that parcel of land in lieu of creating the roadway to that part of the city.

Mr. Long offered up some further background to the development in question, outlining the benefit the city would receive from the access to Section Two, with the Developer willing to accept the cost of creating that roadway.

"This particular development gives a tremendous benefit to the City of Prince Rupert, by having an alternative access to section Two, not necessarily across our thirty year old past ,its life wooden bridge"   -- City Manager Robert Long outlining one of the positive aspects of a proposed housing development on Park Avenue

He also called attention to the fact that the proponent would be footing the cost of the road development and needed the City land to create the right elevations.  He reviewed some of the other challenges that the road would provide and how he, on behalf of the city and the developer are
Councillor Thorkelson would
like to see Seniors Housing
included in the Park Avenue
Housing proposal
currently in discussions related to offsetting some of the obligation related to off site services that are benefiting the city.

Mr Long added that he hopes to have those negotiations concluded before the Public hearing anticipated for June 22nd, in order to provide more details for the public.

Councillor Thorkelson then followed up her inquiry on that topic by asking about a proposed condo development that had been under consideration for the end of Graham and what had happened to that proposal.

That project, introduced to council last year, is now apparently off the radar, with Councillor Thorkelson advised that the development lots in question had been purchased, are in the process of being purchased by the Park Avenue proposal developer.

Ms. Thorkelson  further outlined some of her concerns related to the Park Avenue proponent's plans, calling attention to the City's policy on densification and how she does not want to rezone the land with that kind of a large lot, unless there is some accommodation made for a condo, apartment unit or some other densification option to be included in the area.

Councillor Joy Thorkelson
Adding that she was hoping that some of those lots in question would be dedicated towards higher density options such as Seniors Apartments or Seniors Condos.

"I was hoping, is that, some of those lots would be dedicated to a higher density plan of either seniors apartments or seniors condos, probably in that part of town it would be seniors condos, and that we allow for this decrease in density for the individual lots, by increasing the density through a housing condo, by permitting a condo or requiring a condo development as part of this individual property development. -- City Councillor Joy Thorkelson speaking Monday on the proposed housing development for Park Avenue.

The City manager advised that he would take these items of interest to the developer and explore the themes that she had outlined as part of the current conversation that he is having with the developers. Suggesting that if required, Council could have a special meeting prior to the Public Hearing to examine where everyone is on the topic before taking it to the hearing process.

He observed how it typically you would want to allow the developer to determine what they wish to do with the land they have purchased, saying that's a marketing issue, though he noted that in this case with a number of the properties associated with it owned by the city that Council could use some of the City owned properties to meet some of their OCP objectives.

Mr. Long further outlined the process of approval that would be required by Council, reviewing how Council would not be approving any aspect of the motion until after the Public Hearing after receiving comment from the public.

Mr. Krekic advised that as for the advertising of the rezoning announcement, it would be focused on the aspect of the single family housing development, with Mr Long noting that Council could deal with the densification aspects related to the two other properties and not involve the single family dwellings at this point.

 Councillor Thorkelson urged some caution related to that observation from the City Manager, As a wrap up for her concerns related to the proposed Park Avenue development proposal, she observed as to her continued dedication towards the need for Seniors housing and how she would like to secure assurances related to the City's densification ambitions

"I hate to be a curmudgeon but I was thinking that we would use the zoning thing to ensure that that actually happens,  because what I wouldn't want is to have promises made, these lots built and then the developer walk away without the densification ...  I do want to have a hammer and not remove the teeth before we have real good assurances that that would occur -- City Councillor Joy Thorkelson reinforcing her commitment to the need of a Senior's Housing commitment related to the Park Avenue Housing proposal.

You can  review the full exchange related to the discussion from the City's Video Archive, it starts at the 16:30 point and continues on until the 39 minute mark.

Council then voted to move the zoning amendment process forward in order to provide for public notification of the Public Hearing of the 22nd of June.

For more background on the zoning amendment see the Council Agenda package for Monday, the related information can be found on pages 59 to 92 .

More items related to Housing issues in the community can be found from our Housing archive here.

For more background related to Council Discussions see our archive page here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you to Councillor Thorkelson for her foresight! Seniors housing is needed in Prince Rupert. At present there is no 55+ projects such as patio homes where seniors could still feel as if they were living in their own homes yet collectively have the yard and buildings maintained.