UPDATE: The City of Terrace has postponed the discussion that was previously slated for the Sept. 28 regular council meeting. City officials said they need more time because they are revising their recommendations to council, due in part to the complexity of the proposed development and feedback received from the public. The issue will instead be discussed at a dedicated committee of the whole meeting, likely in early October (but a date hasn’t been finalized,) City officials told The Terrace Standard.
Our original story remains below:
The proposed inland port development at the former Skeena Cellulose mill site will be discussed again at a Sept. 28 Terrace city council meeting.
On July 13, council passed first and second readings of amendments to Terrace’s official community plan and zoning bylaw necessary for the proposed development, which would see the former mill site developed into a train cargo facility. Passing first and second readings of bylaws or amendments simultaneously is standard practice for B.C. municipalities on virtually all matters. Following second reading, proposed amendments can then officially enter their public input phase.
The proposed inland port development is currently in its public input phase. The developer, Progressive Ventures, held a physical open house July 29 and a virtual, online open house for the first two weeks of August. The developer was also required to conduct a traffic impact study.
A summary of Progressive Ventures’ public input initiative and the traffic study will be presented at council’s Sept. 28 meeting, said Tara Irwin, city planner, as well as a revision to second reading of the proposed amendments to the official community plan, (specifically regarding the Keith Estates Neighbourhood Concept plan.)
The Keith Estates Neighbourhood Concept plan, which was drafted in 2014, is a subsection of Terrace’s official community plan that envisions the former mill site as a mixed-use residential and commercial area. The Keith Estates Neighbourhood Concept plan will need to be significantly altered to accommodate the proposed inland port development.
Following the Sept. 28 meeting, the proposed amendments must then be referred to third-party groups for consultation, such as local First Nations, Northern Health, the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and others.
That referral process that will take at least a month. During that month-long period, the City is also considering hosting a City-led open house, Irwin said, but details have yet to be finalized.
Once the referrals are complete, the project proposal will then come back to council for a public hearing (which would encapsulate public feedback received by the City as well as the feedback collected by Progressive Ventures.) The City’s public hearing could be as early as Oct. 26, Irwin said, but it may not happen until November, depending on how long the third-party referral takes.
Council will absorb all that feedback at the public hearing and then, at a council meeting immediately following the public hearing, council will vote on third reading of the proposed amendments. Council will have the option to deny the proposed amendments, approve the proposed amendments, or direct City staff to further revise the proposed amendments.