The plan around Granite Pointe could add up to 300 units of housing.

The plan around Granite Pointe could add up to 300 units of housing.

Council on board with Granite Pointe plan

After a crowded public hearing Monday, Nelson city council signed off on an Official Community Plan amendment which would allow for the eventual construction of a mixed use neighborhood around the Granite Pointe Golf Club.

  • Mar. 10, 2011 2:00 p.m.

The hunt for a developer is on.

After a crowded public hearing Monday, Nelson city council signed off on an Official Community Plan amendment which would allow for the eventual construction of a mixed use neighborhood around the Granite Pointe Golf Club.

The development, billed as a way to inject new funds — and new members — into the course, could include up to 300 residential units as well as a commercial hub near the course clubhouse. It won’t be built by the club, but by an outside developer who will partner with the Granite Pointe Golf and Recreation Society.

About 35 people packed into council chambers to share their comments on the project.

While most were positive, there were some concerns about the effect hundreds of extra residents could have on the area, as well as whether the units put on the market wold go to buyers willing to live in the community or those looking for vacation homes.

But course revitalization chair Oliver Berkeley said he doesn’t expect Nelson to attract those looking for a second home in B.C., because the city is too far removed from cities like Calgary.

“We’re simply just too far away,” he said. “It’s an entirely different driver.”

David Swain, president of the society, agrees.

“People want to come here for lifestyle and they want to come here to retire,” he said. “I think we’ll be able to attract the right kind of people to this development.”

Nelson councillors have been largely supportive of the plan, which calls for environmentally friendly construction and a mix of housing options that could include rental and affordable units.

“They’ve covered all the bases in a really progressive way,” councillor Donna Macdonald told council before voting in favour of the OCP amendment.

The amendment doesn’t change the zoning of the land around the golf course at this time. Instead, it’s intended to show a developer the city is supportive of the initiative.

With an amendment secured, Berkeley says the society will begin looking for a developer to partner with. And he’s confident the proposal will attract interest.

“It’s a unique offering,” he said. “Typically developers have to build a golf course. They don’t have to in this case, they’re building around an existing facility, so I suspect that it will be an attractive proposal for many.”