Nelson city council on Monday night took its first step toward re-zoning 2.74 hectares of prime real estate at 900 Lakeside Dr., adjacent to Walmart in the Chahko Mika Mall.
Sun Holdings 3 Inc., the owner of the land, asked council to change the zoning from CD1 (a zoning set up specifically for the defunct Kutenai Landing project) back to standard zoning for the neighbourhood: a combination of MU2 (waterfront mixed use, commercial and residential), P1 (park and recreational), and P2 (water use zone, which would allow a marina).
The Kutenai Landing zoning was for a specific number of buildings and units, and specific expectations regarding density, construction methods, floor area, and maximum building height.
Sun Holdings believes that the Kutenai Landing zoning was far too specific for the company’s needs. The company said it wants to create zoning that would be more attractive to developers.
There is no development plan or proposal for the property at the moment.
The proposed MU2 zoning would call for a maximum 4.5 storeys and allowable uses include care services, multi-unit residential, neighbourhood pub, restaurant, short-term rental, live/work space and cannabis retail.
Offices, retail outlets and health services would also be allowed, but only adjacent to Hall Street.
The P1 zone would allow for the waterfront pathway. P2 would allow for a public dock and marina.
Council voted on and passed first and second reading of the re-zoning. The next step in the decision-making process is a public hearing.
Councillor Jesse Woodward, supported by councillor Keith Page, expressed doubts about the marina.
“People come here for the Kootenay experience and a big part of that is not having motor boats and jet skis roaring around,” Woodward said. “People do come here for that kind of quiet.”
Mayor John Dooley said approving second reading of the re-zoning simply activates a public hearing.
“It is not like we are saying yes,” he said. “We are allowing the public the opportunity to go through the hearing process. But if you want to stop this project in its tracks tonight you have the right to do that.”
Dooley said he wants council to discuss the details after the public has had its say.
Planner Pam Mierau said there are many areas of the shore where residents are not allowed to have docks, including the shoreline from John’s Walk out to Red Sands.
“If you have a house on the water you can’t put a dock in place, so to balance that out, the Official Community Plan identified a number of areas along the waterfront zoned P2, consolidating all the motorized vessels into those P2 areas to keep that activity in a certain area. And this is one of those areas.”
“I suggest we go through the process,” Dooley said, “see what kind of feedback we get, and have a bigger conversation, and it has been my experience that that piece of land has been a big conversation every time it has come to this table.”
City manager Kevin Cormack said this re-zoning follows council’s existing policy on the waterfront as laid out in the Official Community Plan, which was created with extensive public consultation.
“This [re-zoning application] is not someone asking to go away from policy,” Cormack said. “This is someone asking us to conform with it.”
The property is a contaminated site registered with the Ministry of Environment.
A developer of the site would have to hire a consultant to identify and manage soil and water quality.