Nelson city council put the pedal to the metal last week, taking a look at new and proposed development around the city.
This wasn’t an ordinary tour though. Council rode from site to site on electric bikes.
Gericks Cycle and Ski provided the e-bikes for the tour, ensuring the 36-degree day didn’t require too much of council’s energy peddling up and down our hilly streets.
E-bikes are becoming a popular way to get around Nelson. Council has endorsed this method of transportation as a means to reduce carbon emissions and support healthy lifestyles. Council launched a pilot project this year where employees are able to purchase an e-bike through payroll deductions.
Based on its success, council is exploring extending this program community wide through its existing EcoSave program in 2020.
Council and staff toured the city from one end to the other and was impressed by the creativity of the local development community. The projects council visited included purpose-built rentals; small lot housing; conversion of an historical building to micro-suites; the first new commercial development in Railtown and a number of energy efficient homes, including a net-zero ready house. All these projects are being delivered by the private sector and constructed by our local builders.
“With Nelson’s challenging topography, existing building stock and lack of building sites we see a number of variances or rezoning requests which are necessary to allow these projects to move forward,” says veteran city councillor Janice Morrison. “It is important to take the time to visit these projects once constructed to see if what was envisioned by the developer is actually delivered. I can tell you I was very impressed.”
The city continues to see significant levels of development with the total value of construction in 2019 exceeding $31.3 million, a 39 per cent increase over 2018.