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Rezone for Kutenai Landing property considered; public meeting to come

Sun Holdings 3 Inc. has applied to rezone 900 Lakeside Drive from CD1 Kutenai Landing Zone to MU2 waterfront mixed-useresidential and commercial zone for the land portion of the lot, P2 water use zone for theportion of the lot that extends into Kootenay Lake and P1 park, open, and recreationalspace zone for the waterfront. — Photo: City of Nelson

The Kutenai has landed. Again.

More than 10 years after the multi-building, waterfront development stalled, the spectre of Kutenai Landing has arisen.

Sun Holdings 3 Inc. has applied to rezone 900 Lakeside Drive from CD1 Kutenai Landing Zone to MU2 waterfront mixed-useresidential and commercial zone for the land portion of the lot, P2 water use zone for theportion of the lot that extends into Kootenay Lake and P1 park, open, and recreationalspace zone for the waterfront.

The current zoning of the property is tied to a “comprehensively planned, site specific development for five buildings and a marina and includes multi-unit residential, seniors’ residential, retail, restaurant, office and a marina,” noted a city staff report to city council.

“The applicant feelscurrent zoning for this property is unworkable, and would like to re-zone back to the same zoning as the rest of the waterfront in order to facilitate development,” said city director of Development Services, Pam Mierau.

Although several city councillors wished to debate the project and the rezone application, Mayor John Dooley explained that the issue needed to go to the public — and a public meeting — before city council discussed the project.

“We do have a process for the community to have that discussion and then it comes to council,” he said.

The main issue for the project is the marina, noted Coun. Jesse Woodward.

“It concerns me that we are allowing another sizable marina here,” he said.

For 12 years the property has been vacant. Eleven years ago a rezone for the property was approved by the city but, as a condition of the rezone, a covenant was placed on title requiring all future development on the site to comply with the development plan.

That plan included five separate phases and five separate buildings, road improvements to both Cedar and Simpson streets, sanitary, storm and water servicing infrastructure.

The deal also included sidewalk and street lighting, use of green infrastructure principles and an affordable housing contribution of $1,100 for each residential unit with a minimum contribution of $150,000.

However, the current zoning for the property has been deemed “unworkable,” and has suggested that rezoning the property back to a standard waterfront zone would facilitate future development on the site, either for the current owner of “through a future land sale,” said Mierau.

The MU2 zone allows a mix of residential and commercial uses along the waterfront.

“(S)ome office is encouraged adjacent to Hall Street in order to acknowledge the gateway aspect of this intersection and encourage the extension of retail from the downtown core down Hall Street to Lakeside Drive,” Mierau said in her presentation to council.

The rezone would also mean a reduction in height allowed on the land from six storeys to 4.5 storeys, reducing density on the land, scaling back the commercial, eliminating office, retail and other commercial uses with only restaurants and neighbourhood pubs allowed as commercial uses.

Mierau said live/work would be allowed on the site, which would allow office or custom indoor manufacturing at grade with residential above.

Brownfield development

The property is still a contaminated site registered with the Ministry of Environment.

The site received a Conditional Certificate of Compliance on Sept. 10, 2001. Seven years later the Ministry of Environment gave approval for release of a development permit for the first phase of Kutenai Landing and approval of zoning and subdivision.

At the time the approval was contingent on the owner retaining a “qualified environmental consultant to identify, characterize and appropriately manage any soil and/or water of suspect environmental quality encountered during any excavation work at the site,” noted the city staff report.

A site investigation and remediation were required to obtain a certificate of compliance prior to a building permit being issued.

“To date, this work has not be undertaken as there has been no development on the site,” said Mierau.

A new certificate of compliance may be required given the age of the documentation, she added.

Mierau stated that “any development on this site will require further site investigation, any required remediation undertaken, and an approved certificate of compliance confirming satisfactory remediation from the Ministry of Environment prior to receiving a building permit from the city.”