A rezoning application to accommodate a potential 16-unit housing development on 30th St. NE received criticism from neighbours and the unanimous approval of Salmon Arm council.
Following an online public hearing, council gave third reading on March 8 to rezoning of the one-acre parcel at 700 30th St. NE, south of the Co-op gas station and Eighth Avenue NE, from R1, single family dwelling, to R4, medium density residential zone. The new zoning is in keeping with the official community plan.
A single-family home, which is destined for demolition, now sits on the parcel.
Council received several letters and a 30-name petition opposing the rezoning, the most common complaint centering on traffic.
Resident Matt Larose wrote a letter outlining his concerns and spoke passionately against the application.
“The thought of the council even considering such a safety hazard for our children is incomprehensible,” he wrote. “Adding this large a complex with the addition of traffic to an already congested area is of grave concern.”
A traffic study on the proposal predicted a 1.1 per cent increase in traffic on 30th Street NE from a development. The report also calculated that the contribution to road improvements from the development required would be $24,000. It also stated that preliminary estimates put the cost of closing the west access onto Ninth Avenue NE and the realignment of Ninth at $3.2 million.
Kevin Pearson, the city’s director of development services, noted that a few concepts for a roundabout have been drawn up to shift the traffic problem that exists at the nearby intersection of Ninth Avenue and 30th, which is now almost failing.
Coun. Kevin Flynn referred to the roundabout initially proposed for Ninth and 30th, which the transportation ministry determined was too close to the Trans-Canada Highway.
Pearson said the concept of a roundabout at Eighth Avenue and 30th Street was brought up because it related directly to the public hearing.
Mayor Alan Harrison said concerns from some residents seemed to be based on the belief that traffic would be going from Eighth Avenue NE through to the mobile home park to the east. He said that would not be happening as there are already accesses for it off 10th and Second avenues.
Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond said council members are also concerned about the safety of children and added that 90 per cent of traffic on 30th is not people from the Eighth Avenue neighbourhood.
Coun. Tim Lavery said he was not being critical but suggested that when people are buying properties in a neighbourhood, they check out zoning and how it might change. He said more neighbourhoods are going to see more density.