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JL Jackson rezoning heads to public hearing
The public will have a chance Sept. 23 to have its say on new plans for the former site of the JL Jackson school.
At Monday’s council meeting, those councillors present voted unanimously, although some reluctantly, to give first and second readings to an application to change the zoning of the 4.8 hectare property from P3, institutional, to C2, town centre commercial.
The property is currently two parcels, and the school board would like to subdivide the largest parcel into three, making a total of four parcels. The largest parcel, once subdivided, would house the existing SASCU Downtown Activity Centre, a new 22,000-square-foot school board office, and a parcel for future development. A letter from the school board attached to the rezoning application states that the institutional zoning is seen as a significant barrier to development by commercial developers.
Since a rezoning application for a commercial development on the site was turned down in 2006 by council in response to strong opposition from the community, the school board has tried unsuccessfully to attract more palatable investment to the property.
At Monday’s meeting, Coun. Chad Eliason was absent and Couns. Ken Jamieson and Alan Harrison excused themselves from the discussions because they are school district employees. Remaining were Mayor Nancy Cooper and Couns. Debbie Cannon, Denise Reimer and Marg Kentel, who all voted in favour of the application.
Cannon said though she would like to see the property remain institutional, “the school district has jumped through a lot of hoops,” so she would vote in favour. However, she’ll be interested to hear the community’s input at the public hearing.
Coun. Marg Kentel said since the emotionally charged vote in 2006 on the property, “I think there has been an attitude adjustment. Things just aren’t like they were in that stage in our economy.”
Kentel said the high expectations of the design review panel and city staff will help ensure any development is high quality.
“I would like to see something to get our economy going around here…”
Coun. Denise Reimer noted the school board sent out information to 150 developers, as well as trying to attract a applicants to set up affordable housing.
“I think this will be a very important discussion at our public hearing and I urge everyone to come out.”
The public hearing will be held Monday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m. at the North Canoe Hall. The venue of the public hearing has been changed from Salmon Arm City Hall to accommodate an additional public hearing that night regarding a coffee company proposed for Canoe.