Nelson Landing’s development permit will be back on council’s agenda on March 17, after the proponent has a chance to explain its contentious variance requests to residents.
Storm Mountain Development Corporation, the proponent for Nelson Landing, is working towards building its first eightplex townhouse this summer on the 13-acre, lakeside development site on former Kootenay Forest Products land along Sproat Drive.
Storm Mountain president and CEO Allard Ockeloen said he spent three months working with City of Nelson planning department staff to come up with appropriate variances to make this first phase of development feasible, but admits there wasn’t enough information provided to the public on what was being planned.
“When you don’t inform the public, it leads to mis-information,” Ockeloen said. “One blogger indicated that they thought we were paving paradise, when in actual fact we’re asking for less paving.”
In its development application, Storm Mountain has requested variances to narrow the waterfront pathway that connects John’s Walk to Red Sands Beach, making it 3.5 metres rather than five metres, and topping it with a permeable surface rather than concrete. The developer also wants to bring the road width down to seven metres, which is two metres narrower than usual, and not be required to put a sidewalk in front of the homes.
Ockeloen believes all the variances are reasonable in the context of the larger development, which will eventually include more than 200 residences and multi-use buildings. For example, instead of the sidewalks running directly in front of homes, there will be a dedicated path for bikes and pedestrians on the other side of the road.
“Everything we’re trying to do is to bring people into the area, not keep people out,” Ockeloen said. Acknowledging that it’s hard to express those big picture plans on a development permit application that is only related to one small portion of the project.
This past weekend more than 100 letters of concern were sent to the City of Nelson in regards to the development application, which Ockeloen said prompted him to request more time to inform the public about his proposal.
Two public open houses are being planned for Monday, March 17. One will be during the day in Fairview and the other will be at City Hall from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Nelson council will consider the development request at its meeting later that same evening.