Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Drake Crescent zoning decision deferred until March session

Kevin Stunder, the proponent of a
proposed housing  development
for Drake Crescent appeared at
Council on Monday evening
to outline the project
Prince Rupert City Council has decided to wait two more weeks before making a decision on a request for zoning changes to a parcel of land on Drake Crescent, with Council looking for further information from staff and its work with the developer on amenities and on how many units will be built before moving on the zoning issue.

Monday's Council session featured a Public Hearing on the issue, though no residents appeared in Council Chambers to outline any concerns related to the proposed development during the course of the session.

Council did hear from realtor Keith Lambourne, who speaking as President of the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce voiced that group's support for the proposed development, noting that there is an immediate need for more housing in the community, with many rental groups in the city featuring no vacancies at the moment.

Kevin Stunder, the proponent of the development for Drake Crescent also provided his thoughts on how the project would come together, calling on some of his past experience in other communities on property development.

On the topic of when the housing development might start, Mr. Stunder did note that no decision would be made until there was some indication of forward movement provided by the major proponents of major industrial projects in the community. Adding for Council that he hoped to have a better idea as to what form his development would take and the timeline for it by the summer.

He also observed that he hoped that Council could see the value in moving forward with some housing for the city on a parcel of land that fits in with the City's Quality of life official community plan.

The full overview of the Public Hearing process can be found on our Council Timeline Feature.

A multi unit housing development has been proposed for
Drake Crescent at Prince Rupert Boulevard

Later in the Council session, Council Members returned to the zoning issue, as part of the Regular Council Agenda, reviewing the findings of the public hearing and discussing further the desire to see parks and amenities included as part of the proposed development.

City Manager Robert Long provided some clarification on the topic for Council, while City Planner Zeno Krekic also outlined some guidelines as to how the process works.

When it comes to the theme of the proposed amenities for the area in question, the City Manager noted there were two paths that the developer could follow, one being through a financial contribution, or as discussed earlier by way of active participation in the development of those amenities.

Councillor Niesh spoke in favour of the proposed zoning change, noting that there has been no opposition expressed regarding the proposed development. However he noted rezoning the land at the moment was not urgent, as the developer had observed that he won't be moving ahead until some indication of major industrial development in the community is moving forward.

Councillor Kinney noted the contribution of Keith Lambourne and  his perspective on what is required for housing in the community at this time.

Councillor Thorkelson then put forward the motion to direct staff to discuss and work on a proposal and contract with the developer, regarding amenities and the number of units to b built on the property in question.

Adding the note that the finished agreement be provided to Council first, so Council could hold further discussion on the issue before taking the zoning requirement to a final vote.

Councillor Cunningham asked that it be brought to Council as soon as possible, with hopes of having it added to the Agenda for the next meeting of March 7th.

By way of a final look at the issue, Councillor Mirau outlined his one concern on the process, offering his belief that the city remain consistent in their policy development with this development and any other developer that may follow.

Council then put any final decision on the zoning issue off until next month.

You can review both the Public Hearing aspect of the issue and the discussion on the proposed zoning issue from the City's Video Archive.  

The Public hearing portion starts at the beginning of the evening's proceedings , while the zoning discussion takes place starting at the 1 hour one minute mark.

Further background on Housing issues in the Community can be found here.

While more items related to City Council discussion see our Council Archive page here.

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