Kimberley City Council gave first and second reading last week to a zoning bylaw for a property on Fernie Street in Townsite.
The zoning application requests a change from R2 single and two-family residential to R-12 multiple family residential. The intention of the proponent, Lois Creek Developments, is to develop four five-unit townhouses.
The proponent has conducted a public engagement process and received some feedback, and Council has also received a number of letters expressing concern about the development. Some concerns were about an increase in traffic, and also the fact that there is only one exit in and out of Townsite, that being 4th Avenue.
“The population of Townsite has ebbed and flowed over the years,” said Manager of Planning Services, Troy Pollock. “When the mine was running there was more traffic.”
He added that there were other properties in Townsite proposed for development as well.
It was noted that there are other emergency egresses out of that area, and that Council needed to make it more widely known that they exist.
Another concern was that Lindsay Park School was already near capacity. Coun. Kyle Dalum pointed out that the city had no control over school issues. Those were in the hands of the school board.
“I understand people don’t want to see change,” said Coun. Jason McBain. “We got some thoughtful letters about how much the area means to them. I get that. But if you are living on the edge of town there is always the chance that something else will go in. Sullivan Landing is a nice development now. This is much smaller and it meets our multi-unit needs.”
McBain said that the message he is hearing is yes, we need this but I just don’t want it near me.
“I understand that, but we are trying to meet the needs of all residents.”
A public hearing has been set for August 16, 2021, at which time Council will review all feedback.
Count. Kent Goodwin said that the summary report of feedback from the developer was not very useful and he urged residents to write to Council themselves if they had comment.
“Our recent housing study produced a good snap shot of where we are at,” said Mayor Don McCormick. “There are not enough places of people to live.”