At the regular meeting of City Council on Feb. 24, a zoning amendment to bylaw 2657 as it pertains to the property on 350 Deer Park Ave. was discussed.
The property was previously rezoned from C1 commercial to R2 single, and two family residential two years ago. The property is now in the process of being sold and the new purchasers are interested in changing the zoning.
They just completed a renovation to a suite on the property. There are two units and the buyers are interested in having the option of renting the suites as tourist accommodation, which is not currently allowed under the present R2 zoning, but would be under the proposed DMU2 zoning amendment.
The DMU2 zoning was actually created a couple of years ago for two properties adjacent to the one discussed this week in council, and they are now being used for tourist accommodation.
The proposal will come back before council at the March 9 meeting, giving neighbours and other community members the opportunity to provide feedback.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will also be consulted, as the property falls within a certain distance of the highway.
Another property that was discussed this week was development variance permit for 100 Spokane Street. The recent purchasers of this property, a little red house located on the corner of the Platzl, seeks to redevelop the house which has been used residentially and commercially for about 100 years, but is at present sitting vacant.
The new buyers are interested in redeveloping the property into a small, mix-used building, to create a yoga studio, while retaining a residential unit in the property. Their plan is to re-use as much existing structure as possible, and they hope to keep the residential unit on the main floor, to be used as a long-term renting unit, and add commercial space on the top floor and main entrance into the Platzl.
The reason for the variance proposal is that, while the current Commercial Platzl Zone (CP-1) does encourage mixed commercial and residential use, it was intended to keep the ground floor of buildings for commercial purposes only, in order to create and preserve a the walking, outdoor storefront atmosphere that exists in the Platzl.
Much of the real estate along Spokane Street and Deer Park Avenue can manage this easily, as it was historically built for that specific, ground-level commercial use. Over time, this has resulted in many of the buildings on the west end being used for mix residential-commercial purposes, both in aesthetic and function, sometimes in a prohibited manner.
The new renovation will include significant improvements, according the proposal. These will include lighting, planters and landscape features as well as bringing the exterior walls adjacent to the Platzl walkways, in order to utilize more of the land.
The new owners say their new building will be more energy efficient in both design and construction as they plan to update the appliances, electric services and insulation.
“Our building design is created to be visually enjoyable at a pedestrian level as well as encouraging commercial viewing and window shopping through the large boutique window that faces the Platzl.”
As well as a hoy yoga studio and the residential rental unit in the back of the building, to “assist in the lack of rental opportunities currently available in Kimberley,” they also plan to put in a treatment room for a professional health care practitioner.
Council supported the motion so notices to neighbours within a 50-metre radius of the property will be sent to get feedback to be discussed at next council meeting.