The residential housing project proposed at 2102 Creek Street would include 15 multi-family units has been in the works for many years.

Council goes out with spirited debate

A new development at 2102 Creek Street created a lot of tension at Monday’s Nelson city council meeting.

A new development at 2102 Creek Street created a lot of tension at Monday’s Nelson city council meeting.

The residential housing project which would include 15 multi-family units has been in the works for many years.

Frustrations emerged after councillor Kim Charlesworth voiced her opposition to the development.

“That’s not where we want to be,” said Charlesworth, referring to development in Abbotsford.

“That’s not how we want to be building. It doesn’t fit with our 2040 sustainability plan or our Active Transportation Plan. I don’t think we’re that desperate for housing for this now.”

Mayor John Dooley responded by saying “I wish we’d told this guy this months ago.”

Monday was the third reading of two bylaw amendments that would see the development move forward.

“I disagree with that totally,” said Dooley. “We’re going to tell him now at this stage that we don’t want this project. We’re talking about people’s livelihood. There are carpenters and real estate agents that need this work.”

Councillor Marg Stacey echoed Dooley’s statement by saying the lot is already zoned for people to live on.

“The only plots left on this city are vertical. He’s looking for vertical plots to play with,” said Stacey.

“We have to experiment with the small vertical house and the hillside stuff because, hello, we have hills. Everytime something comes up that they don’t like they say ‘traffic.’ It’s okay to live in that area and providing the walkways.”

Councillor Robin Cherbo voiced his opposition to the development by stating his concerned about the increased traffic the new development would bring to the neighbourhood.

Dooley continued to be frustrated with some councillors’ comments.

“We need to draw a line on the map now of how far we are going to let people go. Where in Fairview and Houston Street? Are you kidding me? My God,” he said in frustration.

Councillor Deb Kozak joined Cherbo and Charlesworth in their opposition to the development by stating her concern for safety in connection to traffic and cars parked on the road during the winter.

The property has R1 zoning which means the maximum density is 18 units, and city planner David Wahn said that would require a full road.

According to background from city staff, the subdivision bylaw requires construction of sidewalks as part of approval of subdivision where none currently exist.

Because of the terrain and past development practices, the approving officer said  sidewalks likely weren’t feasible.

It was decided Monday that a contribution towards the Active Transportation Plan would serve as an alternative to providing a sidewalk.

Many units will also be ready to accommodate a secondary suite to fit with the city’s affordable housing policy.

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