Kimberley City Council held a public hearing regarding bylaws to change the zoning at 520 Wallinger, that would allow the former Anglican Church, and Food Bank, to be converted into a cafe/bakery. This would allow expansion of the business, Stoke, whose bakery is currently located behind the Centex building.
There were a couple of calls into the meeting from occupants of nearby homes. The main concerns brought up were traffic, given that St. Mary Avenue was now a pedestrian bridge; and the potential for noise pollution.
One of the proponents, Alistair Lang, spoke to the concerns. He said he didn’t anticipate much more traffic than there was for Food Bank deliveries. There would be ventilation fans but they wouldn’t be on all day, and if the doors to the bakery were shut they wouldn’t be heard, he said.
Another concern was that the church was a heritage building and the worry was that it would be torn down and rebuilt.
Lang said that was not the case. It would not be torn down, but instead a heritage building would be made new again.
“We want it to be a value added,” he said. “We are young entrepreneurs, working hard every day. Our track record at the store proves the type of business people we are.”
A report from the city’s planning department said that the property was walkable from the downtown and therefore parking shouldn’t be an issue. The report indicated that accommodating deliveries and loading was a concern, and the Ministry of Transportation had already required that any deliveries be restricted from occurring on Wallinger Ave. The city was also waiting on a staff parking plan. The report also notes that potentially some water and/or sewer upgrades may be required.
Later in the meeting, after the public hearing closed, Council gave the bylaws first, second and third readings. Adoption will be considered after the full MOT report is received.
Any other concerns will be dealt with through the permit process as the project moves along.