Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Kanata School land zoning review to be delayed until January

The proposed rezoning of the Kanata
School lands was deferred until
January as council awaits
more information from the developer
While City Council moved forward with one zoning issue on Monday progress was a little slower when it came to the issue of rezoning the old Kanata School land for a proposed housing development.

The review of the zoning application once again highlighted a growing split on council on the concept of developing land for housing in the community, with Councillors Cunningham and Thorkelson expressing a number of concerns when it came to the proposal related to the Kanata lands.

Among some of those items of interest were questions related to the application and what plans the proponent had when it comes to the housing for that area, as well as questions related to adjacent land buffers associated to the site and plans for a playground and park area as part of the area development.

City Planner Zeno Krekic provided
an extensive overview of the
proposed zoning issues related
to the Kanata School Property
Both Councillors Thorkelson and Cunningham noted that the timeline of housing proposal is once again dependent on LNG development, calling attention to another area of housing development that the city has made accommodations on when it comes to the same developer, that of the Graham Avenue area, where no actual development has taken place as of yet.

Councillor Thorkelson had concerns related to the concept of park development and how that would leave the city required to provide ongoing maintenance for any such project, as well as concerns that the proponent could begin the process of removal of trees, whether there would be development or not.

She also returned to her frequent theme at Council of the need to develop affordable housing and how in the Graham Avenue proposal there is once again no inclusion of any form of affordable housing as part of that development, a theme she believes is constant with the current proposal for the Kanata lands.

On that topic she took issue with the concept of earlier in the night from Councillors Mirau and Niesh, that creating housing would provide a cascade effect, reducing the pressure on the housing situation.  Ms. Thorkelson challenged the two councillors, by noting she has read a number of studies on housing that show other outcomes to their thoughts on housing, asking that they find a study that supports their concept.

Councillor Niesh picked up on that comment, noting his belief in the concept of the cascading effect and how this is not Vancouver, but Prince Rupert and how it's developers that will be creating housing in the community. Further observing how the City should be looking forward to the idea that someone wanting to come to town to invest and to develop housing here.

Councillors Cunningham and
Thorkelson had a number of questions
related to the proposed development
of the Kanata School lands
Councillor Cunningham also had concerns related to the developer involved in this proposed project, relaying a list of some of the issues he has with the way they have approached the development.

He also wondered what the intention of the developers was related to the property,  recalling how the same developers cleared much of the land off of Park Avenue, but have yet to begin any form of development.

I don't know if these are developers, or speculators -- Councillor Barry Cunningham on the topic of the proposed housing development for the Kanata School lands

Mr. Cunningham recommended that Council table the motion until further information from the proposed developers, a motion that Councillor Thorkelson seconded.

From that motion, Council decided that they would sit in a private session with the developer to investigate the issues further, with that meeting to be scheduled before December 18th.

The rezoning issue would then be brought back to the public session in January of 2016.

You can review the full discussion related to the question of the Kanata property from the City Council Video Archive, the conversation starts at the one hour thirty seven minute mark

For more background on the discussion see our Council Timeline feature here.

Further information on housing issues in the area can be reviewed from our Housing archive page.

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

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