Monday, July 6, 2015

City Council to take second shot at zoning issues on Park Avenue development with Public Hearing tonight

The Park Avenue Housing Development Proposal is going to get another look over tonight, as the City brings the topic of zoning amendments related to the project back to the Council table, with a second Public Hearing on the issue set for 7 PM in the City Hall chamber.

In late June, the City posted a notice to the public regarding the Public Hearing, as the City noted that due to the late design/layout changes that increased the number of  proposed lots from approximately 30 to 37, Council had determined that a new Public hearing was required.

The project has recently become a topic of some controversy on the west side of the city as local residents began to learn more about those revisions for the proposed development and began to express some of their concerns related to the project.

You can review the background to the project, including a number of our past items on the topic from this blog item from July 2nd.

Judging by some of the documentation provided with tonight's Public Hearing Agenda, Council will be hearing first hand about some of those concerns, with a number of residents of the Graham and Van Arsdol area having provided written objections to some to the aspects of the proposed development.

The reading of the contributions from those residents highlights some of the frustrations that they have been feeling of late, particularly when it comes to recent Council decisions and how they have affected their side of the city.

Many of the correspondences provide concerns on the lack of consultation with the Graham Avenue residents, as well as the changing nature of the development from when it was first suggested.  

Some also call into question the timing of the public hearing, with School out for the year and residents perhaps away, with a suggestion that Council hold off on any final decision on the zoning issues until September, when many Rupert residents have returned from the vacations.

In addition to the contributions to the file on the Park Avenue proposal, a number of residents of the area have provided their names on a petition outlining their concern with the project.

In a reply to one of the area residents in late June, Mayor Lee Brain advised that he would be sending a letter to the residents to clear up what the Mayor called misinterpretations regarding what is being proposed.

The letter to the residents however, was not included in the Agenda package for tonight.

You can review the full  Public Hearing Agenda package herethe letters of concern to City Council begin on page nine and continue on until page 19.

The push back from area residents does seem to suggest that City Council has a fair bit of work ahead
to try and resolve some of the concerns that have been outlined leading up to tonight's Public hearing, with the prospect of even more being brought to their attention as part of the hearing itself.

A proposed housing development off
of Park Avenue is back in front of
Council this evening
Hopefully, the City's technical staff have resolved the technical problems from the last Council meeting which resulted in no audio for the June 2nd session.

Considering the interest that the Public Hearing appears to be generating, tonight's Council session may be a lively one that could attract a fair amount of attention beyond those that are directly affected by the proposed development.

The Public Hearing as well as the Council session to follow will be broadcast on CityWest Cable 10 and is also available through a live feed on the City's website.

An archive of all Council sessions (with the exception of the missing June 22nd session) can be found on the City of Prince Rupert You Tube page.

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

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