Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Port of Prince Rupert seeks temporary use of land along Park Avenue for industrial purposes

Somewhere along Park Avenue is some land that the
Port of Prince Rupert wishes to make use of on a temporary period of two years
map from City of PR website)

Prince Rupert City Council has moved forward with a request from  earlier this month from the Port of Prince Rupert, which is seeking permission to make use of some land along Park Avenue towards preparations for container terminal expansion, setting in motion the process of public notification on Monday night.

The request was a late addition to the Monday Council Agenda, which meant that there were no supporting documents for the public to review related to the proposed use of residential land for industrial use.

As for the presentation to Council, with the City of Prince Rupert no longer hosting a City Planner position and City Manager Robert Long seemingly not available for Council's only session for July, the short overview of the details to the request such as they were, fell to Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller to relay.

Her overview for the Council members was somewhat brief and didn't offer much in the way of background as to what the port has planned for their temporary land use in an area described as vacant Block 10.

The main thrust of her commentary that of what appears to be the use of the area for preparation of lands and subsequent operation of an off dock container facility on a 30 acre property located on highway 16 otherwise known as Park Avenue.

Ms. Miller noted that a portion of the land in question is currently listed as Zoned for residential with Council asked to refer the motion to public notification. 

Towards the request she also provided some detail on the bylaw process related to the land in question.

Among her commentary for Council, an observation that approval of the application for public notification simply provides the opportunity to take the question to the public and it is still subject to the range of referrals required.

The topic didn't generate much in the way of discussion from the Council membership, with Councillor Adey excusing himself from the conversation, though no indication as to why that was necessary was provided for at the time.

The only question from Council related to the Port's request came from Councillor Blair Mirau, who made an enquiry related to procedural issues on the topic.

"If we were to grant PRPA's request, after public input, I'm just wondering from a procedural standpoint, how exactly that would happen if the current bylaw doesn't permit a temporary permit in R1. 

Are you recommending that we would change the bylaw regarding temporary permits, or that we would ask them to revert their zoning from R1 back to P1, now that the Bryton Group doesn't want to proceed with that residential development"

Ms. Miller noted that rezoning would not necessarily be required, as it is designated as a temporary use, adding that Council could choose to over rule that portion of the bylaw.

The Mayor observed that the city would start with public input and then could have further discussion once they have heard back from other participants in the process.

And with that, the motion to move the process forward was approved.

No date, or further guidance as to how the public notification process and any potential community engagement towards it would work, was offered up as part of Monday's session.

The presentation of the request can be reviewed from the City's Video archive starting at the fifty minute mark.

The area of land that appears to be some of the focus of the discussion was put up for sale in April of 2019, the area which features a large area for development, was as Councillor Mirau noted once destined for an ambitious residential project by the Bryton Group.

The major property developer however chose not to move forward with their plans for Prince Rupert after they and City Council appear to have locked horns on a few development issues.

The Park Avenue plans were one of a number of highly touted residential developments that have yet to come to fruition for City Council.

Some of the land on Park Avenue once marked for residential development

The April 2019 real estate listing made note that the land was an ideal site for industrial development or for a lay down yard.

More on Monday's City Council session can be explored from our Council Timeline Feature.

Further notes on City Council discussion themes can be found from our Council Discussion archive.

1 comment:

  1. That’s a terrible map. It doesn’t explain clearly which is the area being proposed. What an awful impression people will have driving into town off the ferry.
    Prince Rupert is desperate for housing. If this land is zoned for residential use, then so be it. The industrial park or out by Ridley Island is where containers should go.
    I am willing to bet though that the Port will get their way. City Hall only caters to the likes of them. Shame on them.