Ryan Anderson answered questions of council and residents regarding the proposed townhouse complex

Kingma complex getting closer to reality

OCP change sees third reading after public hearing in Village

A plan for a townhouse development that has been churning through Harrison Hot Springs council for two years got a little closer to being realized this week.

Kingma Brothers Developments is hoping to turn a four-acre strip of land along Hot Springs Road into a 26-unit complex. Some of that land would be gifted back to the Village for trail use along the Miami River.

The land in question is right across from the Village office, and is currently categorized as “resource” land. Over the past two years, council has requested a number of documents and studies from the developer, and all of those requests have been met to date. Those include a traffic study, an arborist study and, due to the proximity to the slough, a riparian assessment and approval from the Ministry of Environment and Department of Fisheries.

In addition, the initial plan revealed in 2010 called for 50 units, a size that was knocked down to 26 after previous consultation with the public.

The satisfaction of those requirements has prompted the next step in the process, which is to change the designation of the land to “medium density residential” from resource, as it is currently named in the Village’s Official Community Plan. The zoning bylaw also needs to be amended to include a new “comprehensive development zone” that staff said will apply only to this particular parcel of land.

The OCP change and bylaw amendment had received second reading at a previous council meeting, and went to a public hearing on Monday night. That hearing went for about 85 minutes, and was followed by a regular council meeting. At the council meeting, council eventually gave the changes a third reading. They will come up for adoption at a future meeting, possibly on the next scheduled meeting for August 13.

Neither of the Kingma brothers were in attendance at the hearing, but their representative, Ryan Anderson, was there to discuss concerns.

During the hearing, about a half dozen residents spoke against the proposal for various reasons.

Some worried that the creation of a comprehensive development zone on land that was previously pegged as resource and earmarked as resource in a future land use designation map, would set a precedent for other green space to be turned into housing developments.

Andre Isakov, Community & Economic Development Officer for the Village, said that he did not see the bylaw amendment as precedent setting, as it applies only to the one property.

But none were more vocally opposed than John Allen, who spoke three times during the hearing.

“I don’t know what we’re doing here when this is so contrary to the OCP,” he said. “We have a good and legitimate claim for this land to be parkland. Council should simply say no … reject the development.”

While the public hearing was only to discuss the land use changes, discussion often drifted onto issues related to the proposed development.

Some residents are concerned that the addition of 26 units on the already busy Hot Springs Road will increase traffic problems. Bunt and Associates were hired by the developer to study traffic flow, and council has accepted the result of that study.

The long discussion put an obvious seed of doubt in some members of council’s minds, including Sonja Reyerse.

“Someone said it could be precedent setting, and I’d like to (have that clarified),” she said. “If we are contravening everything in the OCP how is it that is sat at this table and got this far?”

John Buckley initially moved to have the issue tabled to be able to get more information about the development.

Reyerse seconded the motion at first, but after more discussion, she rescinded that second.

Councillor Zoltan Kiss said he would have liked to have seen the reports from Bunt and Associates, and the arborist’s report before making a decision.

Councillor Allan Jackson is the only member of council to remain from the previous council which dealt with the proposal and set out the requirements.

“What further information could there be?” he asked the other councillors. “Every time we have a proposal come to council we have the same people come to speak against it, (saying) the sky is falling. It would be nice to see something positive happening.”

In the end, the amendments received a third reading, with Kiss and Buckley opposed. In favour were Jackson, Reyerse and Mayor Leo Facio.

Facio said the Village must find ways to support development, to be able to thrive and provide services to its residents.

“Money doesn’t just drop from heaven,” he said.

If the adoption of the OCP change and bylaw amendment passes, Isakov said the developer’s next step would be to either apply to subdivide the property, or request a development permit.

news@ahobserver.com

 

 

 

Just Posted

Chilliwack goes cluck-cluck for chickens ahead of civic election

With an election in sight, urban chickens supporters ramp up their efforts for legal acceptance

Wildfire smoke brings in air quality advisory for Lower Mainland

People with health conditions are urged to avoid the outdoors

Mt. Hicks fire near Harrison Lake continues to grow

The fire, which started Wednesday, has forced the intermittent closure of Highway 7

U.S. flight museum founder ID’ed as pilot in Abbotsford International Airshow crash

Pilot John Sessions was giving rides in a vintage 1930s airliner at the airport in Abbotsford.

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

A look at B.C. wildfire smoke from space

NASA provides a timelapse of smoke covering B.C. from space

Child dies in boating incident in Okanagan

A North Vancouver family was boating on Kalamalka Lake in Vernon when the incident occured

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Province calls for federal aid

More fires have burned in B.C. already this year than did in all of 2017

Kayak in Indian Arm waters off B.C.’s Deep Cove and feast on famous doughnuts

About a half hour drive from Vancouver, Deep Cove is a great kayaking spot for locals and tourists

Child, 4, attacked by cougar near Fernie

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened while the family was fishing

Trans Mountain pipeline protesters practise resisting police at Camp Cloud

Last week, a Supreme Court judge granted the City of Burnaby an injunction ordering protesters to remove everything from the site

Drug-checking started as pilot in four B.C. communities to test for fentanyl

Substance is mixed with water on test strip, and result is revealed in minutes

Gun used in Fredericton killings is legal, man had licence

Police Chief Leanne Fitch said the long gun is commonly available for purchase, and is not a prohibited or restricted weapon

Ontario will sell pot online when legalization comes in the fall

There are further plans to have pot in private retail stores in early 2019

Most Read