Salmon Arm council is considering an increase in density for a piece of land in the 1100 block of 18th Street NE near the RCMP detachment.
The 2.2-acre parcel is currently designated medium density residential in the official community plan (OCP) and zoned R4, medium density residential.
In 2021, council approved a development permit for a 30-unit project on the site comprised of a mix of duplex, triplex and townhouse buildings. That permit has not been issued yet, however.
At the city’s April 4 development and planning services meeting, owner/applicant Canzea Developments Ltd. came back for an OCP and zoning change to high density residential, R5, for a 0.66-acre portion of the property in the southeast corner.
The larger 1.6-acre portion of the site would remain medium density residential with duplexes, triplexes and four-plexes, while the smaller portion would then accommodate a multi-family building with approximately 24 units.
A total of 50 units are proposed for the whole site.
The planning department noted that if the OCP amendment and rezoning application are approved, the developer has indicated they would subdivide the subject property to create two separate development sites.
The planning department report expressed support of the plan, noting that within the Urban Area, multi-family development is strongly encouraged in areas along corridors where public transit, pedestrian access routes and servicing is available. The proposed site is within close proximity to public transit, pedestrian access routes, commercial development and schools.
The majority of council voted in favour of forwarding the application to the next meeting of council on April 11 for consideration of first reading. Second reading would be at the next council meeting, followed by a public hearing.
Coun. Tim Lavery voted against the OCP change and rezoning, stating he’s as much in support of multi-family housing as the next person. However, he said a change to the OCP should merit a full discussion of both sides of 11th Avenue NE during an OCP review because residents make decisions based on current designations.
Mayor Alan Harrison and other members of council expressed reasons for support. Coun. Chad Eliason referred to the great need in the community for high-density, multi-family housing. Coun. Kevin Flynn expressed support, adding he was glad the applicant mentioned the possibility of underground parking. Coun. Debbie Cannon also agreed, saying this what the city’s housing inventory lacks.
Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond said it’s important people have a diversity of housing to choose from, so they can have access to as many neighbourhoods as possible. Coun. Sylvia Lindgren noted she would like to see more treed areas left, which is possible with the smaller footprint of multi-family housing.
Mayor Harrison said council has not made many OCP amendments, and council will be talking to the community during the next OCP review. He asked staff to outline the process for this application so the public will have a chance to provide input.
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