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City staff and developer will meet with the public about Nelson Landing

Bill Metcalfe
By Bill Metcalfe
March 7th, 2014

There will be two public meetings in Nelson on Monday, March 17 about the Nelson Landing housing development. One will be hosted by the developer and the other by the city.

The meetings will address a collection of variances that the developer, Storm Mountain Development, recently asked Nelson City Council to approve. Before Council could consider them at its March 4 meeting, the matter was hurriedly taken off the agenda because over the previous weekend council had a flood of mail from people concerned about the variances.

Mayor John Dooley told the meeting that the developer had asked for an opportunity to meet with the public before council considers the variances.

The Nelson Landing development will see 200-plus residences on 13 acres on the old Kooteney Forest Products Mill site on the lakefront in Nelson. The development will be built in phases, and this variance application applies to the first phase consisting of eight residential units to be built this year.

Storm Mountain Development will be holding its public meeting during the day on Monday, March 17 at an undisclosed time and location in Nelson.  The company’s president and CEO Allard Ockeloen was not available for an interview with The Nelson Daily.

UPDATE March 8: The developer’s meeting will be held on March 11 from 6 to 8 pm at 1014 7th Street (office of Ward Engineering).

The City of Nelson’s meeting will be held on Monday, March 17 from 3:30 to 6:00 at City Hall. The session will be set up as an open house at which city staff will answer the public’s questions. Mayor Dooley told The Nelson Daily he does not know whether he or other council members will be there.

The package of variances Storm Mountain has requested, and which city planning staff has recommended that city council should approve, include:

  • increase lot coverage from 45% to 60%
  • reduce the front lot line setback from 4.5 m to 0.6 m     
  • reduce the rear lot line setback from 4.5 m to 1.0 m      
  • increase the height from 10 m to 10.5 m
  • reduce the multi-use pathway width from 5.0 m to a constructed minimum pathway width of 3.5 m
  • reduce the urban local road standard from an 18 m right-of-way to a 12 m right-of-way,
  • reduce the road width from 9.0 m to 7.0 m gutter to gutter      
  • remove the sidewalk requirement for the urban local road standard    
  • reduce the minimum driveway width to 3.0 m
  • reduce the minimum right-of-way width for a single storm service from 4.5m to 3.0 m
  • amend the multi-use pathway detail to permit a permeable surface.

The notice mailed to Nelson Landing’s neighbours on February 21 contained the information given above plus detailed drawings and maps.

City Planner Dave Wahn told The Nelson Daily he thinks people may not have read the proposal in detail and need more information.

“I want people to look at what is being proposed and respond to that,” he said, “rather than assuming certain things and without looking at the application as a whole.”

Michael Donner, one of the residents of the neighbourhood who received a formal notice from the city about the changes, says local residents don’t need more information.

“Where is the dialogue? It is not an information session that we want,” he says. “We want dialogue with the decision-makers. We want to know the rationale that they are going to use, to approve or not approve this.”

Donner says the local residents are concerned that the changes will result in more concrete, less on-street parking, less green space, narrower roads, and less sidewalk, with safety and aesthetics compromised because of the smaller setbacks.

Wahn sees it differently.

“When they say they are paving over everything, well it is a development parcel, they will be paving and building on things. But they (the developer) are proposing a narrower road, which will mean less pavement. They are proposing not to put a sidewalk in because they will put a (unpaved) public walkway on the water side, which will mean less pavement.”

The notice city council gave to the neighbours on February 21 is required by law, but the public meetings to be held by the developer and the city are not. It is only when property is re-zoned, as this area was in 1997, that a public hearing is required.

This matter will not be on the agenda for city council’s scheduled meeting for later in the evening on March 17, but will come to the table at a future meeting. 

Related stories in The Nelson Daily:

Nelson Landing: One step closer, vows to preserve Red Sands Beach January 28, 2014

Nelson Landing returns, but with a new concept March 21, 2013


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