By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
Council paused before a Red Sands storm Monday night at City Hall, but the squall never materialized.
A brief break in their regular council meeting appeared to gird City council for the work of debating the land use amendment on the latest waterfront development proposal (Nelson Landing) that has galvanized some sectors of the local populace.
However, with nary a whimper City council took two of four steps towards making their bed with proposal B — creating the most amount of park and protecting the area of the waterfront known as Red Sands beach as a park — out of the three options put forth by Nelson Landing developer David Sorensen late last month.
Right from the outset proposal B was recommended by City staff, and was the one most palatable to those who had campaigned to keep the “clothing optional” recreational area untouched.
City council did not debate merits of any proposal when the motion landed on the table Monday night, passing first and second reading on the land use regulation amendment (to the Official Community Plan) with a quick raise of the hands.
But the speed of the adoption did spin the heads of some councilors. They now head into discussion of the development deal itself and the land use amendment in third reading, and the prospect of a public process now looms on the horizon.
Coun. Donna Macdonald wondered at what stage all of the information on the development could be scrutinized and questioned by council before it was released in a public presentation.
“Certainly the idea is to have all of the information available at the public hearing,” noted City senior planner Dave Wahn.
Between now and the public hearing (date not set), council could submit questions to City staff and they would have them answered as the negotiations on the development agreement moved along, said Wahn.
The details of the development agreement would come later in the process, said City manager Kevin Cormack. The purpose of the item on the agenda Monday was to see if council was okay with the land being used in this manner.
He also said those details would be available at the public meeting.
The phasing and the amenities will be fleshed pout in the development agreement, to be brought to the public and council as part of the public meetings.
Council needs to determine if they want another public meeting where they would present a draft development agreement. It would be less formal than a public hearing.
That would give City staff additional information and then they could finalize the development agreement and bring it to the full public hearing.
Council could then consider the land use and the amendments to the OCP at that time.