New development planned following agricultural land rezone

The landowner plans to build a 52 unit residence on Graham Avenue

A property owner in possession of several acres of agricultural land on Graham Avenue is closer to  his goal of developing a residential complex there after successfully getting the land rezoned at the city council meeting July 11.

After a public hearing report and some  opposition from concerned residents on the matter, council unanimously passed the recommendation to rezone the land and amend the city’s official community plan bylaw to allow Rod Pelletier, the landowner, to move forward with his development project.

Councillor Lynne Christiansen abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest, and Mayor Carol Leclerc and councillor Brian Downie were absent.

Pelletier initially applied to amend the official community plan and zoning of his property on 4643 Graham Ave. on May 18 and it came to council June 13 for an initial reading.

Pelletier has said his intention is to use four of his six acres of land to build 52 residential units there.

He said a main focus of his development will be to provide housing to adults and seniors over 55-years-old.

“We have a need for retirement living,” Pelletier said. “I think this proposal is fitting the needs of the community in more than one way.”

Pelletier’s property, which he has owned for three years, was zoned as agricultural prior to the July 11 council meeting. His goal was to rezone his property into low density multi-family residential and get it classified as urban residential under Terrace’s official community plan.

He also added that since two acres of the southern portion of his property is in the agricultural land reserve, meaning it must remain there for farming or green space usage, it could be used to provide a food source or natural space for his development and the community at large.

Speaking after the council meeting, Pelletier said it was “fantastic” that council voted for the rezone.

“There’s obviously a need for it. We have an opportunity to create a project for seniors that is affordable in a beautiful place,” Pelletier said.

City planner Tara Irwin said Pelletier’s proposal presented opportunities as well as potential challenges for the city.

“The proposed bylaw amendments could help to meet some of the demand for diversity of dwelling types in our community, and especially aging residents.”

“However, we know we have a number of large  properties that have been rezoned, that have been through a similar process… and are now sitting undeveloped,” Irwin said.

She also read some letters the city had received from residents who were concerned that rezoning the land for the purpose of a development could  be harmful to the community.

Many of the letters from residents expressed concern over removing agricultural land, arguing that it was important to maintain Terrace’s farming potential.

The city has approximately 1,042 hectares of land zoned agricultural. However, much of that agricultural land is located near the Northwest Regional Airport.

Other residents took issue over the potential for noisy, disruptive construction work and increased traffic congestion in their neighbourhood.

Irwin said that overall the city had not received too much feedback over the proposed bylaw and official community plan amendments.

While Irwin said properties have gone undeveloped following a rezoning in the past, Pelletier said he would be moving forward with engaging engineers and seeking a development permit approval in the next couple months.

Councillor Stacey Tyers said it was a challenging decision for councillors because of the difficulties in striking a balance between developing housing and maintaining agricultural land for farming.

“But it is such an awkward property to be doing farming on,” Tyers said. “I wish we didn’t have to pick between food and housing – that’s not  a nice place to be. But in the end, I will support the recommendation simply because the property is such an awkward property for farming.”

Tyers explained in an email that the property is “awkward” for farming because of its shape and location.

“Essentially it would take a fairly big commitment to change it to farming and if the owners have no interest in that, then it’s not ever going to be used for food,” Tyers said.

Pelletier’s property at 4643 Graham Ave. is adjacent to several single-family detached residences as well as a nearby strip of land zoned for mobile homes.

If everything goes according to plan with building permits and getting buyers interested in the development, Pelletier said he would like to start construction on the project springtime next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

CMTN First Nations Fine Arts program offers new advanced diploma

The 10-month program will focus on enhancing jewellery, sculpture and marketing skills

Terrace spawns new salmon art festival

This week’s featured artist: Casey Braam

Back in buisness: former Sears franchisees go it alone

Boota and Diljit Uppal’s new store opens in same location

Terrace minor softball wins big at provincials

U14 team won gold, U16 team nabbed silver in nail-biter finish, U12 placed fourth

UPDATE: Fire northeast of Terrace under control

The 12.1-hectare fire was first discovered Saturday morning near Cedarvale

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Group urges Canada to help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany

They’re concerned about Canada’s apparent unwillingness to come to the aid of Monika Schaefer

Most Read