Terrace city council announced last night that the street Industrial Way, the main road at the Skeena Industrial Development Park just south of the Northwest Regional Airport, is being renamed Jack Talstra Way.
Talstra has been an influential figure in Terrace municipal politics since serving as alderman from 1976 to 1981, and then as mayor for 23 years, from 1985 to 2008.
He was central in an initiative, which some called misguided at the time, to secure land near the airport from the provincial government for industrial development.
“Jack spearheaded the move to transition the airport lands into an industrial park,” said mayor Dave Pernarowski, who replaced Talstra in the 2008 mayoral elections. “Renaming this street is a wonderful tribute to not only recognize Jack’s years of service, but more importantly, his vision for creating an economically diverse community.”
A street-naming ceremony is being planned for early October.
Also last night, council voted unanimously to allow a rezoning up on the Bench for a large property from R1 single family residential to the R3 multifamily zone.
The property is located at 4934 Twedle Ave. and the owner plans to sell the lot to a developer who would build high density housing such as townhouses or duplexes.
Four nearby residents had expressed concern about the development, including over the increased traffic flow up Lanfear Hill and how high density housing would change the character of what is currently a largely residential area.
Councillor Stacey Tyers said she did think traffic flow on the hill already needs to be addressed, including changing speed limits which are currently different at the top and the bottom of the hill, but that overall the higher density housing would be “incredibly beneficial” despite adding to the traffic.
Councillor Brian Downie agreed with Tyers’ concerns about the traffic flow saying it was time to address transportation issues on the Bench generally.
Councillor Lynne Christiansen said that rezonings such as this one would benefit the growing city and that pedestrian access on the hill would be important in terms of looking at facilitating movement up and down the hill from the Bench to the Horseshoe.
Councillor Bruce Bidgood said that densification was a “compelling reason” to rezone in this case despite his aversion to bending the zoning rules to suit individual desires.
The Bench is seen as a good place to live because of its proximity to schools and the college which were reason enough, council members decided, to proceed with the rezone to allow more people to live up there.
Neighbours of the Twedle property said they are considering forming a petition to challenge potential developments on the property at the development permit stage.