The village council voted down the latest iteration of the 511 Lillooet Avenue project on Monday, Aug. 8. (Contributed graphic)

The village council voted down the latest iteration of the 511 Lillooet Avenue project on Monday, Aug. 8. (Contributed graphic)

Tree preservation, accessibility a theme in development proposals rejected by Harrison council

Council would not budge on proposal that would destroy more than trees

The Village of Harrison Hot Springs council voted down two items related to development during their Aug. 8 meeting, including the much-discussed proposal for a 100-plus unit building on Lillooet Avenue.

The entire council voted against a zoning amendment concerning 511 Lillooet Avenue, the former home of the Bungalow Motel. The proposed six-storey building that would create 108 housing units and about 600 square metres of commercial space has been discussed and re-worked for at least the past year.

The bylaw amendment before council was up for final reading and possible adoption, subject to a number of conditions, including $30,000 in patent to the Community Amendment Contribution and 10 accessibility parking stalls.

RELATED: Public meeting set for development on former Bungalow Motel site

One of the biggest sticking points for council members was the proposed removal of not only six trees on village property but also the proposed removal of 22 trees from nearby Rendall Park.

“I think Rendall Park would be severely impacted, particularly since Rendall Park seems to be the park that most of the residents of the village use,” said Coun. Gerry Palmer. “It seems to me the present proposal would remove most of the trees, take away the shade canopies, remove much of what makes Rendall Park popular with the residents, and it will become nothing more than a large, new front yard for this complex.”

Coun. Samantha Piper agreed, calling the amount of trees to be removed “ludicrous.” She added there would be “no tolerance” for reducing the 10 accessible spaces down to five, as proposed.

“Our community is open to everyone, and that’s able-bodied people and also those who require mobility devices and the like,” Piper said. “So that’s absolutely a no-go for me.”

Council also voted 3-2 against the first two readings of a rezoning application for two properties on Pine Street, which would have changed the duplex properties to townhouse use. This would’ve added 18 residential units and between 18 and 36 new vehicles to the village’s regular traffic.

Coun. Ray Hooper voted against the application due in part to the lack of green space. Palmer said Pine Street was difficult to navigate with the current traffic.

RELATED: No further action on Lillooet Ave. development without more information: Harrison Council

“I think once again it’s a desire to have a maximum number of units on every piece of land,” Palmer said. “I just don’t see adequate parking and I just have some concerns that Pine Avenue is going to become a nightmare.”

Couns. Piper and Michie Vidal were the only approving votes. A rare full house of residents attending the meeting applauded the results. While approval from council at this stage would have moved the application forward, it still would have undergone a public hearing and a third reading. It’s not especially common for a zoning application to not even reach the public hearing stage.

The next regular village council meeting is scheduled for Sept. 12 at the Village Council Chambers (495 Hot Springs Road) at 7 p.m.

City CouncilHarrison Hot Springs

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