Nelson Commons goes before city council Monday

Nelson Commons will ask council for a significant reduction in the required number of parking spots

Nelson Commons will ask city council Monday night to allow a significant reduction in the number of parking spots required for its future development at the east end of Baker Street.

Based on building size and intended uses, the Nelson Commons development is required under current zoning bylaws to provide 190 parking stalls. But the proposed site design, which includes an underground parking garage, would only accommodate 103 vehicles.

According to a report from Nelson Commons, it would be cost prohibitive to provide more parking stalls.

“The only option for meeting the required number of parking spaces was to add a second underground level of parking at a cost of $2 million dollars,” says the report, which accompanies the Commons’ request for the variance.

The proposed design also has narrower than usual parking stalls. The current zoning bylaw sets the minimal parking space size at 17 square metres. Proposed at Nelson Commons is a mix of 13 square metre and 15 square metre stalls.

The report to the city indicates that the developer would be willing to compensate for the reduction in parking stalls by increasing bike parking, having dedicated spaces Kootenay Car Share vehicles, and providing bus passes for staff at the Kootenay Co-op grocery store, which will be the main business on the property.

Neighbouring businesses and residents received advance notice of the request coming to council. Five businesses submitted letters in support of the project, while four businesses and one residents expressed their concerns about the proposal.

In addition to the change in parking requirements, the developer has also asked for a one metre increase to the allowable building height — from 16 metres to 17 metres — to allow for multiple roof heights, which it says would improve the look of the building and allow more daylight into the third floor residential units.

Council will consider the request during its regular meeting on Monday at 7 p.m.

The Nelson Star will report on the outcome of the meeting in a future story.