Residents of the 10th/11th Avenue East area that may be impacted by plans for an apartment complex on Hays Cove at Frederick Street, were in attendance at Monday's City Council session, looking to express their thoughts on the nature of information sharing towards the project.
As the proposed apartment plans were not on the agenda and thus not actually a topic for conversation in the public comment period, Councillor Nick Adey did his best to guide them into an approach towards their topic, that of speaking of Council process towards Statutory Notification.
At times the participants didn't quite seem to take that direction and seemed somewhat misinformed on the nature of the housing proposal; though they did manage to get their comments in as the public speaking portion of the night wrapped up.
Among the themes addressed were concerns from Lloyd and Dawn Quast from the 11th Avenue East area, which is where Councillor Adey steered the discussion towards a question of process and the use of statutory notification on the property in question.
The tone of concerns then shifted towards what residents believe was a lack of information made available and missing notification, as well as opportunity to speak to the impact of the development of the housing planned for the corner of Frederick Street and Hays Cove area.
"Basically my problem is, or our neighbours that are affected by this development have never had a package delivered to them as stated, on what the concept of this project would entail. Initially all I want to do is basically read what has been put forward to us in the neighbourhood" -- city resident Lloyd Quast
Follow up questions that related to the actual project could not be answered on the night, as the housing proposal was not on the Agenda for the night.
Mrs. Dawn Quast took over to seek out some further clarifications, noting of the lack of public information towards the topic of Statutory notification.
"I would just like to know where it was, because I looked through the Northern View, I looked through the Facebook Page and I looked on the website and I saw no notification after the meeting of May the 8th and prior to the meeting of the 23rd of any notification whatsoever"
Councillor Adey called on City Manager Buchan to weigh in on the nature of the communication to the community, Mr. Buchan observed that since some residents may have not received those notices, that staff would send them out once again to ensure that everyone receives a copy of the variance application.
"I understand that there is some confusion about the public notification process for this one and I did ask staff to take a look in the files to see if it was done. And what we found was a list of all the property owners that it would go out to.
However, our records have not concluded a check to make sure they actually have gone out.
So in this particular case, because we actually have never collected the information to verify that letters have gone out after lists are all prepared.
And because there are some folks that have said they haven't received anything on this particular case what I am suggesting is to staff is that we send out the notices and keep a record of the mail merge going forward."
The City Manager further noted that as the property was already zoned for housing so the issue of land use was not before Council, that the issue related to the development is now on the variance request, with the public to be able to see more information once that notification period has come to a close.
"We'll ensure that in this case, the variances will go out and people will have their opportunity to express their opinion to Council after having received that information.
That brought a question from Mrs Quast as to when the residents of the immediate area would have an opportunity to have their say as to their concerns related to the development.
"Where is there an opportunity for us to say what we think about the fact that the project is going to be there, I know I keep hearing that it is already zoned for that. But there is so many questions, concerns about ir, is there no place for us to express our concerns"
Mr. Buchan offered up some guidance to that question.
"Members of the public can always you know express their views to Council about any existing zoned property, we don't hold formal processes for that outside of rezoning processes or redoing a rezoning bylaw.
But certainly in the interim that is certainly open to folks."
Towards the current variance element of the property in question Mr. Buchan noted that once the notices go out the public would have opportunity to speak to the topic when Council next reviews the variance application again.
You can review the full ten minutes of back and forth between residents and council from he Council video archive starting at the 15 minute mark.
More from Monday's Council session can be reviewed here.
Some our previous background on the Hays Cove proposal can be reviewed below:
May 25 -- Access to proposed Hays Cove Housing among topics of note from Tuesday Council session
May 23 -- Two proposed apartment complexes up for Discussion at tonight's session
May 11 -- Hays Cove apartment plans head to Statutory notification with not a mention from Council members on Monday night
May 8 -- Apartment building proposal for Frederick and Hays Cove to be revealed at tonight's Council Session
Our archive on housing and some past notes on the proposed Hayx Cove project can be reviewed here.