Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Council moves forward with Neptune Inn plan for Senior's Housing

A new life for the Neptune Inn could be
on the horizon as council moves forward
with a plan to see the building converted
into seniors housing
The prospect of adding to the housing stock for Seniors in the community moved a little further ahead this week.

As City Council provided first reading to zoning amendments that put in motion plans to re-purpose the currently shuttered Neptune Inn into single occupancy Seniors housing on the city's east side.

Council reviewed a report from City Planner Zeno Krekic who outlined some of the features of the proposal from Macro Properties which hopes to re-develop the Neptune site into the Hilltop Lodge, which would be a 36 unit Seniors residence with some amenities for residents of the city 55 years of age and over.

Mr. Krekic's review highlighted some of the history of the property and what Macro plans for the site should they receive approval to move forward with their project. Advising that in addition to the renovation of the hotel site for apartment living, Macro intends to provide landscaping and a Gazebo feature as additional amenities to the project development.

The City planner also made note of one area that could be of concern to Council, that of the distance of the location from the city's downtown and the current lack of access to transit at the Neptune site, though he did advise Council members that Macro was in discussions with BC Transit to address that issue.

City Council moved forward with the first reading of a zoning amendment
for a proposed repurposing of the Neptune Inn to be reopened as Seniors Apartments

Council members for the most part seemed in favour of moving forward with the proposed development, offering up a number of areas they hope see further background on and seeking to ensure that covenants on the property would move forward Council's desire to see the landscaping and other amenities included in the proposed development.

Council members also outlined their concerns over the transit issues, as well as their desire to see that the building should feature wheel chair accessible options for prospective tenants.

Councillor Niesh offered up a number of comments on the process of review, as well as his support for the proposed development.

"This is the first one where we used our new process which was to use a meeting, a workshop where we could actually all look at it and get more information  rather than coming in here and having the information in an Agenda and not really talking about it thought that this worked really well this time ... on this project I think that this is a great re-purposing of a building that has been sitting empty and it would be nice to see it up and running again"

For his part the Mayor offered up his impressions of the discussion around the chamber on the night and how the process could move forward.

"I think after hearing some of this discussion I think that we go ahead with how it is presented and it sounds like you Mr. Krekic can work with the developer to talk to them about amenities and accessibility and we can continue to work with them on transit options and see where the public comes with the information meeting and see what comes from that"

Councillor Cunningham made note of the current waiting list for the city's existing seniors apartments in the downtown area, adding that if the transit issue can be worked out he would be in favour of the proposed development.

With the passing of the first reading of the zoning amendments related to the proposed development, the next stage will be for Macro properties to hold an information meeting related to their plans, with Council noting that they look forward to hearing how the public views the proposed development and any comments that they may have to offer about it.

You can review the full package from Macro as part of the City Council Agenda for January 9th, the full overview of their plans starts at page 23 of the agenda package.

A more comprehensive review of the Council discussion on the topic can be found on our Council Timeline feature.

The discussion by Council members on the merits of the proposed development as well as some of their concerns can be viewed through the City Council video archive, the Neptune conversation starts at the 3:30 mark.

More items related to Housing issues in the community can be found on our Housing archive page, while further background on City Council discussions and notes can be reviewed on our Council Discussion page.

No comments:

Post a Comment