9 residential units proposed for Harbourfront Drive property in Salmon Arm

9 residential units proposed for Harbourfront Drive property in Salmon Arm

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Zoning and official community plan (OCP) amendments are being sought to accommodate up to nine residential units at 721 Harbourfront Drive NE.

The applications for the .238 hectare (.59 acre) property along Shuswap Lake, east of Lakeside Manor, were presented and discussed at the Dec. 4 city development and planning services committee.

The applicant wishes to re-designate the property from Low Density Residential to Medium Density Residential, and have it rezoned from R-8 (Residential Suite) to R-4 (Medium Density Residential).

In a report to council, staff explain the city has dealt with five previous development applications for the property, the most recent resulting in it being rezoned to R-8. The proposed re-designation would accommodate up to nine units on the property.

Keith Reynolds told council he’s owned the property for the past 15 years, and that he bought it because he thought it would be a great place to come back and settle down on. Now he’s looking to develop the property for others to settle on.

“I think a single family on that property is kind of a waste,” said Reynolds. “It’s over half an acre. We can definitely bring in some units and make it a little more affordable…”

Wendy Whelen, the agent acting for Reynolds, said the intent is to build nine units on the property in two buildings. She said parking would be concealed on the property, and at this stage no variance would be required.

“We want to make sure there’s a nice, consistent uniform streetscape there,” said Whelen. “We’ve done environmental reports on the riparian area and the recommendation of a 15 metre setback is shown on the plans. We just think it’s a great property, because of its location in the urban containment boundary, it’s got geat connectivity for both cars and pedestrians to downtown…”

If the sought after amendments are approved, Whelen said the next step would be confirming the design of the buildings and applying for a development permit.

Planning and building manager Melinda Smyrl said staff is supportive of the amendments, noting the intended use aligns with the city’s housing strategy which encourages development of multi-family housing, and considers the importance of density and housing diversity in easing housing supply issues in the city.

Coun. Tim Lavery noted the planned development would also align with the B.C. government’s recently passed Bill 44, intended to deliver more small-scale, multi-unit housing.

“So that alignment is not only timely… but also what we need,” said Lavery.

Couns. Debbie Cannon and Sylvia Lindgren commented on how they appreciated seeing the property not being used for single-family residential.

“I love the idea that we can get people living right at the waterfront like that for a better price point than the large, single family homes that exist on that stretch,” said Lindgren.

Mayor Alan Harrison expressed his support of the amendments, and their proceeding to council and then public hearings.

“This is a property with a lot of history, as Mr. Reynolds is aware, and I really appreciate you bringing it forward because time can change things,” said Harrison. “Some of us have been here when there’s been other attempts actually to densify this particular property. There’s a lot of good reasons to change the OCP designation and the zoning now, because times are different than they were 10 years ago. But i think it’s important everybody understands, I don’t see this as being easy, necessarily. It may be, and we will for sure do the right thing.”

Read more: Traffic turnaround planned for spot near Salmon Arm’s Foreshore Trail

Read more: Salmon Arm council approves six-storey condo on Harbourfront Drive

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