UPDATED: Owner will ask Nelson council to rezone Kutenai Landing property

New zoning would support a more modest project

The owners of a long-vacant 2.74-acre piece of prime Nelson real estate want to change the zoning to make it more attractive to developers.

Sun Holdings 3 Ltd. wants to change the zoning from CD1 (a zoning set up specifically for the defunct Kutenai Landing project) to MU2 (waterfront mixed use, commercial and residential) and P2 (water use zone, which would allow a marina).

The owner does not have a proposed development plan for the property, according to engineer Peter Ward of Ward Engineering and Land Surveying Ltd., representing the company.

Rather, he said Sun Holdings wants to create zoning that would be more attractive to developers.

“The existing zoning does not work on that site, for current market conditions,” Ward told the Star.

Sun Holdings held a neighbourhood meeting on Monday, as the initial stage of the rezoning process for the property. Ward said 20-plus people attended, including realtors, neighbours, and members of the city’s Advisory Planning Committee.

The current zoning is for 160 dwelling units in four separate buildings, along with specific expectations regarding density, construction methods, floor area, and maximum building height of 18.5 m. It calls for 600 square metres of commercial space, an underground parkade, a lakeside restaurant, and a marina.

It also includes an agreement with the City of Nelson that lays out a very specific construction schedule.

With the proposed MU2 zoning the maximum building height would be 10.5 m and as a result would have fewer units on the site. The proposed MU2 zone is the same as the zoning for the Chahko Mika Mall on the east side of the property and the YRB highway maintenance yard on the west side.

“Should the proposed zoning be allowed,” Ward said, “the owner hopes that the property could be developed in the near future with multi-family residential units.”

In 2001, the property was purchased by a local consortium, including former mayor Dave Elliott, which paid $1.1 million to prevent a standalone Walmart from being built there.

They then sold the property to Kamloops developer Mike Rink, whose New Future Group proposed Kutenai Landing, a residential complex that won city approval but faced much local opposition.

Slow sales and the developer’s other financial problems killed the project. Rink lost control of the site to Paradigm Financial of Kelowna and an on-site sales office was removed in 2012.

The property was on the market for one year and one week before it sold to Sun Holdings 3 in December 2015 for $1.9 million, less than the asking price of $2.395 million.

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