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Council approves adjustment on Lakeside Place project

An application for a height variance to the Zoning Bylaw for the four-storey, 47-unit, mixed-use building at 805 Nelson Ave. was approved by city council without any debate in early December. — Drawing courtesy City of Nelson

One of the city’s newest developments could be a little more than was first proposed.

The height of the next Nelson CARES project on Nelson Avenue — known as Lakeside Place — has been approved for an increase in maximum height from 13.5 metres to 15 m, around five feet higher.

An application for a variance to the Zoning Bylaw for the four-storey, 47-unit, mixed-use building at 805 Nelson Ave. was approved by city council without any debate earlier this month.

“The building has been carefully designed to limit any impacts on the adjacent single-family development by locating the underground parking between the development and the single-family lot, which increases the separation distance between the two buildings,” said city senior planner Natalie Andrijancic in her report to council.

It was determined that the increased height of almost five feet “should not unduly impact the neighbouring property.”

Neighbours located within 60 metres of the property had been notified of the application — pursuant to the Local Government Act and the development applications procedures bylaw — prior to its approval and no complaints or concerns were raised.

In March 2018, the property was rezoned in order to add an additional storey of affordable rental housing to develop a mixed-use residential/commercial building. The plans have not changed from the original rezoning application, noted Andrijancic.

However, when the application permit was submitted it was determined that the actual height of the building exceeded the 13.5 m. permitted in the zone, she added.

“The miscalculation occurred as the architect did not reference the Zoning Bylaw on how the city calculates height,” wrote Andrijancic.

The actual calculated height based on the drawings submitted was 14.6m, which is an increase of 1.1 m. (3.6 ft.).

It was proposed to increase the maximum height to 15 m. to allow for any adjustments through the construction process, Andrijancic explained.

The application was also circulated to city staff at Nelson Hydro, the departments of Engineering and Public Works, building inspection and Fire and Rescue Services, with no concerns noted.

Lakeside Place is a proposed three-storey structure aimed at low-income seniors and people with disabilities, and would help provide homes for those who are pushed to the fringe of the spectrum in the search for affordable housing situations.

The project would support people in the community with a demonstrated need, since a wait list of almost 100 sits at Cedar Grove Estates — and only 22 units are available for seniors at that site.

The project will develop four buildings on the south of the site which currently consist of 20 residential units. The building at the north end of the site would be retained, where eight residential units were built in 2001.

The other buildings on the site were constructed in the 1950s as a motel, converted in 2001 to affordable housing units.

The redevelopment would consist of one new building that would be four stories in height. That development could accommodate 39 residential units that would consist of 33 one-bedroom units (570 square feet in size), along with six supportive housing studios (350 sq. ft.).

The new building would have its main entrance on Nelson Ave. and take advantage of the sloping site, allowing some underground parking with access from Kokanee St.

Along with the redevelopment of the aging buildings, the corner of Kokanee and Nelson will be improved. Nelson Cares would improve it with additional landscaping and improve the access on Kokanee.