Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Park Avenue Hotel proposal sails through Public Hearing without any feedback from public, gains Third reading from Regular Council session

The proposed modular hotel set for a parcel of land along Park Avenue found no resistance from the public at Monday's Public Hearing, the session taking but eight minutes with no members of the public coming forward to express any concerns related to the 3 storey, 60 unit hotel development.

Prior to the proceedings getting underway, Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa recused himself, owing to a conflict related to the property location for the proposal.

The Hearing began with a short overview of the process from the city's contract planner at iPlan Rob Buchan, who outlined the elements of rezoning request and the nature of the covenant to ensure that only a hotel can be developed on the land in question.

Along with Mr. Buchan's contribution, the proponents of the development made a short observation on the process, though they noted that they had nothing new to update the public on from their last appearance at City Council.

With the preamble to the Public hearing complete, Mayor Lee Brain provided some direction for the public towards their opportunity to participate, though once the call to make submission was offered, no one chose to speak to the rezoning request at the session.

That led to an adjournment of the Public Hearing after eight minutes, with the topic of the rezoning request coming back to Council as part of the Regular Session.

When they picked up on the topic later the evening as part of the Regular Council session, the discussion was brief with Council noting of the covenant in place to ensure that the use of the land remains that of the hotel development, with the councillors noting of their commitment to the new Official Community Plan and the desire to restrict commercial development in the downtown core area.

Councillor Adey made inquiries of the contract planner related to past concerns over Fire Department access to the location. Mr. Buchan noted that those concerns were related to a previous version of the proposed site plan, adding that as a development permit process would move forward he would confirm with the Fire department that the site plan is acceptable and within code.

The Mayor also asked for a review of the process ahead following the third reading of the night.

Mr. Buchan noted that the bylaw now needs to be forwarded to the Ministry of Highways for review and their signature, as well the next month will allow for the city to finalize the details of the covenant with the proponent, which puts the the target date for final approval from council for the August 23rd session.

As well Council members were reminded that now that the Public Hearing process has concluded that they cannot discuss the project in the community or with the applicant.

For a final thought, Councillor Mirau returned to the rezoning of a proposal outside of the downtown core for a commercial purpose and noted how the covenant in place will ensure the city's commitment to main objective of development in that core area holds.

You can review the two elements of the night's work from the City's Video Archive, first through the Public Hearing session which is found at the start of the Video presentation for the night

The process of moving the proposal ahead then took place during the Regular Council session, that discussion took place at the 36 minute mark.

More notes related to the Monday night session can be explored from our Council Timeline Feature.

A wider overview of past Council themes is available from our archive page here.

We traced some of the background towards the proposed development with our notes from June which you can review here.

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