Monday, September 14, 2020

BC Housing plans for Kootenay Avenue set for forward progress tonight

The scope of proposed expansion to the housing stock
along Kootenay Avenue returns to City Council tonight

A proposed expansion of housing on stock on the city's west side will be one of the feature events for tonights Prince Rupert Council session, as the BC Housing plans for the Kootenay/McKay area come up for another look over by City Council, with city staff providing a recommendation to take the topic forward to a public hearing.

The background on tonight's review can be found from the Agenda package for tonight's Council session see page 29, which includes a Report from the City Manager Robert Long.

Mr. Long has taken on the duties of the city planner, while the planners position remains vacant, though such is the process for the BC Housing plans that former City Planner Zeno Krekic's name is the direction for the original notification of the plans back in 2019.

City Council last reviewed the proposal in July, indicating at the time that they expected a wide ranging consultation with the public to take place related to the plans. 

Towards that McElhanney Engineering which is steering the project through the process provided for information packages for residences in the immediate area of the proposed expansion of housing, though at the time of that consultation, some residents did seem to believe that the reach of that information campaign should have been expanded.

As it is, much like the proposal for a container storage proposal for the Park Avenue area, there has reportedly been some concern expressed from some residents of the Kootenay area over the relay of notice on the plans, as well as the scope of the BC Housing project and the increase in density that it will provide, with petitions making their way around the west side neighbourhood to signify some of that concern.

Likewise, those Council members who in the past have warned of letting COVID become a reason to limit public interaction on major issues, may wish to reinforce the need to find some way to allow for the full public comment on the process, to ensure that all voices in the community are heard towards the proposed project.

All of which should make for some of the review that Council will be expected to make tonight prior to any decision on the timing of a Public hearing.

 You can review some of the notes on the Housing plan over the last year below:

August 2020 -- Kootenay Avenue Housing plans now up for neighbourhood consultation

June 2020 -- Kootenay/McKay area residents await roll out of information on Housing proposal

May 2020 -- Council to use Second reading of zoning amendment for a review towards need for a Public Hearing on Social Housing proposal

May 2020 -- Kootenay Avenue site proposed for new 55 unit multi family residential development

More notes on Housing can be reviewed here.

A look at what's ahead for tonight's Prince Rupert City Council session can be found here.

More notes on City Council Discussion themes can be examined from our Council Discussion page.

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