Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Despite some opposition during Public Hearing process, Council approves zoning change for Stiles Place Development

Council moved on Monday
evening  to approve a new
downtown condo project 
Prince Rupert City Council voted 6-1 in favour of rezoning land on Stiles Place Monday night, setting in motion the prospect of major downtown development close to the city's waterfront.

The process of approval started with a Public Hearing into the zoning issue at the start of Monday's Council meeting, that opened with a review of the project from City Planner Zeno Krekic, followed by a presentation by property owner Cynthia Pyde, who along with representatives of Swiss Real Group, outlined what they had in mind when it comes to the high rise development that will make for a significant change on the downtown skyline.

As part of their review of the proposed development, they noted as to some of the modifications to the design that they have made, some of them as a result to feedback that they have received from residents in the community

Councillor Joy Thorkelson had a number of questions for the proponents of the development, the key aspect of her review inquiries related to her ongoing theme of the need for affordable housing in the city, with the Councillor asking if the developers had any plans to include that form of housing in the second building planned for the development site.

Swiss Real the developers of the
condo project on Stiles Place
offered up a number to items
related to their proposal on Monday
With the developers noting that they did not have that concept in mind for their proposed development, noting that the secondary building was to be a building dedicated towards medical and retail use.

Following the twin presentations the Public Hearing process provided for nine residents with contributions on the evening, six of them highlighting concerns that they have with the proposed development, the majority of them related to noise and traffic, particularly from those in attendance who live in the neighbouring Harbour Side Apartments.

Three participants provided their strong support for the condominium proposal, highlighting the impact that it would have on the downtown area and provide much needed housing, particularly for Seniors who may be looking for options other than owning their current larger homes.

Council addressed the issue further as part of their Regular Council session, with a short review of the project, with a number of council members expressing their strong support for the project moving forward.

However, the support for the rezoning was not unanimous, as Councillor Joy Thorkelson, participating by telephone expressed a number of concerns related to the issue of housing in the community and how the proposed development did not address Councils ongoing concerns related to affordable housing issues.

You can review the full Public Hearing from the City's Video Archive it starts at the beginning of the evening and continues through for the first hour of Monday's Council session. The Council discussion  on the motion starts at the one hour twenty one minute point.

While Mayor Lee Brain noted for the media on Monday that he anticipates shovels to be in the ground for the project sometime in 2016, Swiss Real, the proponents of the development did not offer a timeline for the development during their presentation at Monday's council session.

A full overview of the discussion related to the Condominium proposal can be found on our Council Timeline feature.

For more items related to Housing on the North Coast see our archive page here, for more background on City Council discussions see our Council Discussion page.

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