Tuesday, July 27, 2021

11th Avenue East Apartment proposal to go to Public hearing sometime in August

The next stage of consideration for the Lax Kw'alaams
apartment complex on the east side will be an Auust
Public Hearing

(Image From the Lax Kw'alaams led presentation)

The path forward for consideration by Prince Rupert City Council towards a large scale apartment development on the east side of the city inched a little bit further ahead on Monday, as City Council set the process in motion towards a Public hearing for the Lax Kw'alaams led project.

The site plan of the proposed development
along 11th Avenue East at Edward Avenue
(Image From the Lax Kw'alaams led presentation)

The forward momentum on the much discussed and a times controversial development coming as part of an agenda item from the Monday session. With the city's contract planner from iPlan laying out the next steps for the council to take towards the application for development of an apartment complex along the 11th Avenue East corridor at Edwards Avenue.

In the five page report, which you can review from the Agenda Package, the city has outlined two key elements of the latest momentum for the proposed development; those are related to traffic impact and the requirement of a covenant that ensures an allotment of residential units for use as Seniors housing only.

1) the improvements recommended by the traffic impact study regarding development generated impacts being provided by the applicant and, 

2) Registration of a 219 covenant restricting 12 of the residential units to seniors housing only, and requiring the recommended traffic improvements.

Councillor Mirau opened the conversation on the topic noting how the proposed development is on the topic of the need for more housing in the community, with the Councillor observing as to the urgency the issue has provided to the rental market.  

He also acknowledged the scope of the interest in the community and the neighbourhood towards the project, calling attention to some of the past issues on parking and traffic and how it has been addressed as part of the latest information on the proposed development. 

"Housing is obviously a very urgent and pressing issue I think we've all seen inflation not just in the real estate market but also in the rental market as well. And I think, I mean it's no secret that there was duelling petitions, I think that the whole community is aware. 

In any project that we're going pursue there is not going to be 100 percent consensus. But with that said, I think that the onus is on us as elected officials to hear from all those who feel that they are affected  and try to hear as many different angles, and concerns and suggestions and ideas that we can "  -- Councillor Blair Mirau

As part of the process, the topic now will move to the Public Hearing stage, with the mayor indicating his original preference for it to take place on the same date as a Regular Council session.

Councillor Cunningham also noted of some of the controversy that the project has generated and noted how transparency is a key element towards the proposal and how its moving forward.

The prospect of the public hearing provided for some further conversation, with Councillor Nick Adey noting that considering the nature of the development and the interest that has been expressed towards it,  that perhaps an alternative venue other than the City Hall chamber may be required towards addressing any potential interest in the development.

"I guess given the number of signatures they've got attached to either of the two petitions. I'm just wondering whether there is a thought to possibly thinking of an alternative location given the degree of interest. 

I mean I don't know if it will or not, but it seems to me that it's possible that it would. Should we be prepared to think of a different location for that meeting" -- Councillor Nick Adey

That was a theme that Mr. Buchan from iPlan concurred with, noting that if Council believes that a crowd larger crowd than what City Hall can hold was anticipated,  then they should address that topic now. 

That feedback was enough for Mayor Brain to instruct staff to explore alternate venue opportunities for the Public Hearing for the proposed development.

It was not clear On Monday night if the Public Hearing would still take place on a City Council Night, or if it will be a separate event; City staff advised that the advertising for the Public Hearing would be provided to the local newspaper with enough time for the required two notices for the public.

Council provided for first and second reading on the night, with the date and location of the Public Hearing to be confirmed by that point.

You can review the full discussion among the Council members from the City's Video Archive starting at the 42 minute mark.

For more notes on Monday's Council Session see our Council Timeline feature here.

A wider overview of past Council discussion themes is available here.  

For a look at some of the past notes related to the 11th Avenue proposal see our notes related to the online presentation here.  

Further items of note on the housing proposal can be explored through our Housing archive.

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