Council briefs: City to discuss ‘tent city’

Briefs from July 8 council meeting

Council to discuss ‘tent city’

Escalating attention around the growth of Terrace’s ‘tent city’ near Dudley Little Bridge has caused council to organize a committee of the whole meeting with RCMP and the city’s bylaw officer.

The homeless camp first appeared after the spring-time closure of the city’s extreme weather shelters and before the new supportive housing project on Olson Ave. opened. The site is located on private property, therefore outside of the city’s jurisdiction.

The motion was brought forward by Coun. James Cordeiro. The city says in recent weeks, a number of issues with law enforcement were reported in the area and residents have complained.

Cordeiro suggested the meeting be in-camera because of possible legal issues, but the city says staff are looking into making it open to the public.

READ MORE: Homeless camps pop up in Terrace

City taps into $8 million infrastructure grant

Increased costs for the city’s Lakelse Avenue Boulevard Enhancement project has prompted council to allocate $240,000 from its $8 million Northern Capital Planning Grant Reserve fund to complete the project without delay.

The project’s current budget of $200,000 is not enough to complete 60 per cent of the beautification goals for Lakelse Ave., which would see the installation of brick pavers, garbage cans, trees and bike racks. The total cost is estimated at $440,000.

Faced with either delaying the project until 2020 or tapping into the newly established reserve fund, the city chose the latter. Coun. Brian Downie was opposed, saying the city’s priority projects for the fund should be outlined first.

READ MORE: City of Terrace reacts to $8 million provincial infrastructure grant

Downtown living room

The City of Terrace is moving forward on a “parklet” pilot project to encourage more activity in the downtown core.

A “parklet” is a moveable cedar platform placed over a parking space with seating, tables and planters for people to use.

The parklet is now ready for installation and is expected to be completed by mid-July. Potential locations within the downtown include George Little Park and across from Bert’s Deli.

The downtown living room concept was introduced in the city’s Downtown Action Plan and Urban Design Guidelines, which was created last year with public feedback.

READ MORE: First look at new vision for downtown Terrace

Street named after housing developer

A new road servicing an upcoming subdivision on the Bench is being named ‘Wirtl Street’ after the developer.

Emil Wirtl of Wirtl Construction is behind the proposed 34-unit single-family subdivision at 5034 McConnell Ave. A new street is needed to service the development and would connect Twedle Ave. and McConnell Ave.

In their report, city staff noted Wirtl is a long-time resident of Terrace and has contributed significantly to Terrace’s growth and development. Wirtl and his wife arrived to Terrace in 1957 and formed their own company in 1963.

Traffic study delays zoning amendment

Council tabled zoning changes for a portion of the property at the top of Lanfear Hill at 3725 Thomas Street until a traffic impact study has been completed.

The owners of the Lanfear Hill property want to split the land and rezone a portion from multi-family residential to commercial for a possible small convenience store, gas station or laundromat.

The proposed changes drew concerns from residents, primarily about increased traffic at the corner of Thomas Street and McConnell Ave. A traffic impact study is required as part of the developer’s proposal, though council agreed to pause the zoning amendment until it was complete.

Coun. Brian Downie voted against the recommendation and says he wanted to see a more substantial traffic study.

*CORRECTION – An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Coun. Brian Downie’s reason for voting against the traffic impact study recommendation. It has been corrected.

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