Thursday, May 25, 2023

Access to proposed Hays Cove Housing among topics of note from Tuesday Council session

Prince Rupert City Council members offered up their first comments on Tuesday night towards some proposed housing for a wooded area of Hays Cove Avenue. 

With a plan for an apartment building first introduced two weeks ago back up for discussion, an initiative on city land that would provide for additional housing stock which went by at the time without any comment.

The proposed development is part of the City's Rapid Housing Initiative and would see a four storey, thirty four unit development take place on the land that runs along Hays Cove west of Frederick Street.

The process towards a development variance permit for the proposed four storey complex was up for approval on the evening, and prior to granting that approval council members had a few questions related to the plans. 

Councillor Nick Adey was the first to speak to the topic, noting of the scope of the plans.

"This one is a little bigger in terms of its scale than some of the other ones we deal with, so same question ... did we get any public response in opposition or in favour to this one"

In reply, Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller observed that the city had not received any comment towards the DVP.

For his part, Councillor Cunningham had some thoughts towards the plans for access to the site from 10th Avenue East. 

"On this particular project I notice that in the diagram that you are going to be extending 10th Avenue extension as the driveway or roadway in there. 

Well 10th Avenue East right now is very narrow, it's extremely narrow and on the left hand side when you're driving down it it's a cliff right into Conrad School.

My concern with this project is the increased traffic going in that road, cause I drove it today and had to actually wait for somebody to drive the other way before I could drive all the way in.

Mr. Cunningham also suggested a few alternatives to the planned use for 10th Avenue East.

"When I was looking at the diagram, there's a couple of other avenues where we could put an access road either going out to 11th or down to Hays Cove towards Frederick.

And I think we should actually look at that because, if you've got to build up 10th Avenue to make it two way with parking along the righthand side because a lot of those houses don't have off road access. 

You're going to have to build up that road probably ten - fifteen feet out and it's going be astronomical to cost from Conrad in.

So it's something, I don't know if we've looked at or not but it's definitely something that we should be looking at. Because I can't see that road taking any traffic especially construction, heavy cement trucks and things like this.

You know, It's going to be damaging to the existing road to begin with if it's not built up beforehand and that could hold up construction significantly"

The Director of Development Services Myfannwy Pope observed that the access on 10th had been flagged by staff.

"The access on 10th has been flagged, also for fire trucks. I do want to emphasize that this variance is for the design of the height of the building and the parking reduction and when we move to a development permit stage that's when we'll be confirming access and other landscaping things about the development itself. So it's at that point that we would be exploring those issues.

From that overview, Council then approved of the variance request on the night.

You can review the original report and more background on the proposed development from our preview earlier this week of Tuesday's housing themes for Council. 

The full discussion of the Variance Request can be explored through the city's vide archive starting at the 53 minute mark.

More notes from Tuesday's City Council Session can be explored from our Council session archive page.

A review of some of the other housing plans incubating for Prince Rupert can be explored here.

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