A daycare proposed for 30th Street SE near the Little Mountain Fieldhouse received preliminary approval at the city’s Nov. 4 planning and development services meeting.
Owner of the property at 480 – 30th St. SE is the Shuswap Christian Education Society. Applicant Teresa Horsting wrote to council, explaining she has owned and operated ‘Back in Nature Childcare Programming’ for 10 years. She has applied to the city for a rezoning and official community plan (OCP) amendment in order to relocate a commercial daycare to the 0.41-acre property.
The OCP amendment would alter the site’s designation from low density residential to neighbourhood commercial, and the rezoning would change the zoning from R1, single family residential, to C1, local commercial zone.
Kevin Pearson, the city’s director of development services, said although the parcel is surrounded by single family residential and institutional zoning, the OCP actually supports spot changes to neighbourhood commercial.
Horsting’s letter also included a request for a formal lease agreement for parking on the city-owned parcel to the north.
Architect Marc Lamerton attended Monday’s planning meeting on behalf of the applicant. He explained that Horsting would have liked to keep as much open space on the property as possible for the children, but city staff recommended it would be better to use the daycare site than the city parcel for parking.
Staff reports pointed out that the city property is used as an overflow parking area for Little Mountain sports complex, plus the city utilizes it as a snow dump site during the winter months. Safety was the main concern, with the road already busy with trucks as well as the drop off and pick up at the middle school.
The C1 or local commercial zone comes with a list of permitted uses, which council eventually trimmed by four uses.
Coun. Chad Eliason initially suggested that ‘convenience store’ be left in the list as he’s in favour of neighbourhoods having their own store so people don’t have to drive. He did recommend that licensee retail store, neighbourhood pub and video store be taken out.
Harrison agreed with the three exclusions, but also wanted ‘convenience store’ taken out of the list. He said that as a former educator, he’s experienced having convenience stores in close proximity to a school.
“It’s not convenient to schools, in fact they cause big problems,” Harrison stated.
Coun. Sylvia Lindgren said a convenience store, if one were ever to be built at that location, would entice students across busy 30th Street.
In the end, the motion to remove the four uses – convenience store, licensee retail store, neighbourhood pub and video store, passed unanimously. City planning staff were in agreement.
A public hearing on the rezoning and OCP amendment will take place on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.