Thursday, March 31, 2022

Public Hearing complete, council sends Portage Avenue land rezoning to Ministry for review and approval

Prince Rupert City Council gave the green light Monday for a zoning
change for this property on Portage Avenue 

Members of Prince Rupert City Council hosted a Public Hearing on Monday related to a rezoning request for a property on Portage Avenue, the 6 PM session one which apparently provided for some feedback from the community. 

Though to what extent that commentary may have been provided to the Council membership  is not part of the record as of yet, with no video provided to the City's Video Archive for review of the hearing to provide for more clarity on what engagement was provided as part of the Public Hearing process.

The Subject property from Monday's Public Hearing
(from City of PR agenda package)

From what we learned  from their Regular session discussion, as the Council members reviewed the request to provide third reading for the bylaw to allow for a change in property designation from Residential to Light Industrial use for a property on Portage Avenue, they often made reference to the Public hearing from previous in the evening.  

As for the comment provided to Council as part of the hearing, Councillor Adey noted of the feedback given to Council from two perspectives of the request.

"Just to acknowledge that we did get some public feedback in both directions, during the public hearing stage and I acknowledge the points of view expressed there. 

I guess from my point of view though, I see this zoning bringing that particular portion of that block into alignment with the rest of that block. 

I'm not sure that I can see any additional adverse effects from it, it seems to make sense to me so I'm in support of it"

If further discussion  Councillor Cunningham also noted of the comments from the Public Hearing and offered his support to the rezoning, noting how he wasn't too concerned over any potential noise issues.

"I'm in support of it for several reasons, one we've got lots of residential property right now that's coming up for sale and for development, but we have little or none M1.

You know, as far as a comment earlier about high school kids walking by an M1, they're walking by it already.

I think this particular piece of property has been well kept over the years and everything and the fact that we were told that no one ever enquired about it as residential property just as M1 light industrial speaks for itself.

Im not too worried about noise coming from it, I think we've got pretty good noise bylaw and that and that would be taken care of.

As far as irresponsibility, you know we can look at development permits down the road and change anything we want that way, if something wants to go in there that we don't think will  fit the neighbourhood .

But yeah I'm 100 percent in favour of this"

Councillor Randhawa also concurred that there would be no negative impact on the neighbourhood.

Councillor Niesh observed on the original planning of the area and how Council's in the past had addressed the nature of what is in the area at the moment.

" I mean, I'll go really far back and think that you know the original planning on this area was probably a terrible idea, putting a Light Industrial area in you know more of a residential zone. 

But that being said, you know we can't change the decisions of the past, that basically put churches, and a hotel and light industry all in one area. 

And you know we've had to deal with it, such as the Neptune where we you know kept the zoning to allow it to be a motel still and here this is a similar situation, where you have industrial buildings already built on the property and to me, that's, you know it's more fitting, it's already there, I don't see residential going there."

In his commentary, Mr Niesh seemingly replies to concerns from property developer Kevin Stunder from the Public Hearing of plans for a proposed residential area nearby on Drake Crescent.

"I do feel that you know that the property that was spoken about earlier, Mr. Stunder spoke to his property and I feel that there is a buffer there of trees already and I don't feel that it's heavy industry, which is going to be impactful for noise and  you know I've never heard any complaints of you know noise coming from a light industrial area that has been very impactful to residents in  the area. 

So I am in support of rezoning this "

Councillor Skelton Morven echoed many of the same themes and noted it would now be put on the tax rolls as it shifts from its previous use to an industrial rate.

Councillor Mirau also noting of some discussion from the Public Hearing, spoke to the process and confirmed with Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller that all elements had been completed appropriately. 

"The one point I would like to raise just on process, because there was in the letter from Mr. Stunder a couple of references to process. One of which was maybe a miscommunication, or a difference from M2 Zoning versus M1 and then a second piece around just the zoning bylaw amendment versus a zoning and  an OCP amendment. 

So I just want to clarify with our corporate administrator, that in terms of process, I feel like according to all of my notes both were done appropriately?

Ms. Miller did confirm that the process was done correctly, but noted that there would be a requirement of two separate motions for the OCP and Zoning bylaw.

Council then approved the request with the process to now move forward to the Ministry of Transportation for review and approval.

Some background on the Rezoning request is available from our notes of last Friday, including a link to the Council Agenda report for the session.

The Regular Council portion of their review of the request is available from the City's video archive, staring at the 43 minute mark. 

A wider overview of the Monday Council session can be explored through our Council Timeline Feature.

More notes on planning themes is available here.

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