The proposed project viewed from the northeast. See location maps below the story. Illustration: SHARE Housing Society

Nelson council approves Pastor Jim Reimer’s low-income housing project variances

Construction of the $10 million project could start this year

Pastor Jim Reimer doesn’t give up easily. He’s been plugging away at various plans to build low-cost housing in Nelson for many years. A council decision on Monday has given him a significant boost.

The SHARE Housing Society is planning to build a $10-million, five-storey building with 39 one-bedroom units plus some commercial space on its property on Falls Street (see maps below).

Reimer, the society’s president, said BC Housing is on board to provide major funding to the project on the condition that he can subdivide the property into two parcels, one for his existing building and the other for the proposed building.

The existing building currently houses the Kootenay Christian Fellowship, SHARE Nelson, Our Daily Bread and the SPCA. The new building would be constructed behind it on Herridge Lane.

To subdivide the property in a way that works for his housing project, Reimer needed two bylaw variances from the city, one related to access and the other to parking. Council approved both on Monday.

“I think it is fantastic,” Reimer said after the meeting. “I am very happy they were able to see through some of the challenges in this project. This was a big milestone.”

The access issue was about road width. Council agreed to reduce the required width of the road access from Falls Street from 20 metres to six metres. Access from Baker Street beside the Best Western’s parking lot at the back of the property was deemed unsuitable by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways because of its proximity to the intersection of Baker Street and Highway 3A. That route may only be used for emergency access. Access from Falls Street will also be aided by elimination of two parking stalls in front of the Savoy.

Council also granted the society a parking reduction from 80 stalls to 34 stalls for the existing building. The 80 stalls, many of which now exist where the new development will occur, was the result of a covenant made in 1987 to accommodate parking for the now-defunct bowling alley.

The city’s planning manager Pam Mierau told council that a recent traffic study has shown that the projected increase in traffic in the area as a result of the project “is not considered significant and will have minimal impact on the adjacent intersections.”

__________________________________________________________________________________

Related:

Pastor Jim Reimer’s latest plan: a new building to house Nelson’s poor (April 2016)

Two Nelson affordable housing projects pitched (May 2017)

Nelson Cares unveils housing project (Oct. 2017)

__________________________________________________________________________________

Plans presented to council included some complex details on how regular and emergency vehicles would navigate the property.

“There were some challenges with that lot, how do you get into it and how do you get out of it, but we were able to meet those challenges.” Reimer said. “BC Housing has given us some funding to get to this stage, and now we will be approaching them and see if we can get to the development stage, so we are feeling all systems are go.”

The proposed new development is for 123 square metres of ground floor commercial and five storeys of rental residential units with an average unit size of 430 square feet.

“It’s a very exciting building, unique to Nelson,” Reimer said. “There will be amenity spaces on the roof, it is a premium spot for low cost housing, it will be sought after. The development is going to be single units with an outdoor walkway.”

Reimer hopes construction will start this year. He said he has not been developing a tenant waiting list but “in a previous project we tried to do, I got 50 people in one week.”

Also starting construction this year will be 47 low-income units at 805 Nelson Ave., developed by Nelson CARES.

Materials presented to Nelson council on Monday are attached below. A video of the council discussion of this decision can be found at the 12:25 mark here.

SHARE Housing by BillMetcalfe on Scribd

 

The SHARE Housing Society’s development would provide 39 one-bedroom units plus commercial space on this property on Falls St. Illustration: City of Nelson

Just Posted

Nelson candidates debate climate change at forum

Mayoral and council candidates had the chance to speak on five fictional resolutions

UPDATE: Nelson man who swam naked with sharks arrested

David Weaver, 37, will face mischief and assault charges

Three Nelson marijuana dispensaries to remain open after legalization

Nelson’s police chief has no plans to close them down

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

LETTER: Beware those towing the party line

Reader Bob Malcolmson questions CORE

Legal pot price must be ‘competitive’ with black market: Blair

Bill Blair shared final words on journey to legalization ahead of official day Wednesday

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Carole James avoids questions on B.C.’s payroll tax (with video)

Green MLA Adam Olsen cites huge tax increase for local business

Most Read