The property across View St. from the emergency ward is slated for the construction of a two-storey medical centre.

The property across View St. from the emergency ward is slated for the construction of a two-storey medical centre.

Proposed Nelson medical clinic rezoning goes to public hearing in May

Ancron Medical Centre is planning to move to a property across from the Kootenay Lake Hospital emergency ward.

An application to rezone three residential lots on View St. across from the emergency ward to accommodate Ancron Medical Centre will come before a public hearing May 4. The city has created a new zoning category (“mixed medical”) to fit the project.

Ancron Medical Clinic wants to build a 15,000-square foot two-storey building at 10 View St. that would include medical offices, a walk-in clinic, aesthetics clinic, dispensing pharmacy, and small cafe. The facility would replace Ancron’s current offices in the Nelson Trading Company on Baker St.

The zoning change passed first and second reading last year by a slim margin, with councillor Robin Cherbo and former councillor Donna Macdonald voting against it because they disagreed with putting a commercial venture in a residential area.

It was also opposed by several of its closest neighbours for similar reasons and because they said the scale of the development and its resulting traffic would change the character of the neighbourhood.

The City of Nelson and Dr. Andre Kirsten, Ancron’s owner, held a public open house on March 19, attended by about 35 people.

The photo on the left shows the proposed construction lots with the emergency ward in the background.

One concern of the neighbours, Kirsten said in an interview, is privacy and noise, and he intends to mitigate that with green space and fencing, and by minimizing noise from the ventilation systems. He said the building will take up only 40 per cent of the property.

Kirsten said another concern was traffic and pedestrian flow, but a traffic study he commissioned last year shows traffic increases would not be significant. He said he intends to build a sidewalk along View St. in front of the building and ask the city to put a pedestrian crosswalk between the clinic and emergency ward.

City planner Pam Mierau, reflecting on the meeting, said Kirsten was “open to hearing these concerns and was proactive in solving them. In general, I think people were still concerned, but tentatively optimistic their concerns were heard and they might actually have a workable solution.”

The city has scheduled a special committee of the whole meeting on April 7 so Kirsten can familiarize the new council with the project. (At committee of the whole meetings, council hears from the public but doesn’t make decisions.)

After the May 4 public hearing, the bylaw will come before council again for a final vote.

Material presented by Kirsten to the open house, and his letter to city council explaining the project, are attached below.

Ancron