UPDATED: Nelson clinic move wouldn’t affect downtown business: report

A study finds most downtown Nelson businesses believe if Ancron medical clinic moves to a new location, it would have no impact on them.

A proposed medical clinic across from Kootenay Lake hospital would have virtually no impact on downtown business

A market study finds most downtown Nelson businesses believe if Ancron medical clinic moves to a new location opposite the hospital, it would have no impact on them.

The study, completed by Chris Holland of Nelson’s Juggernaut Marketing Communications, was a requirement set by city council when it recently approved first reading of a zoning amendment.

Although the report was intended to be confidential, it was included on the public agenda for Monday’s council meeting.

Ancron, which presently operates in the Nelson Trading Co. in the 400 block of Baker Street, wants to build a 15,000 square foot facility on three lots across from the hospital emergency room. It would include medical offices, a walk-in clinic, aesthetics clinic, dispensary, and coffee shop.

That requires the property to be rezoned “limited medical,” a new designation that a staff report calls a “very narrowed version” of a mixed commercial and residential zone, restricting the property to uses normally seen in a medical facility.

Some neighbours object to the proposal, but Holland’s report, based on interviews with 37 downtown business owners and 12 Ancron patients last month, found little opposition.

“Based on analysis of the data collected, the beneficial influence of the clinic on businesses in the downtown core is minimal and its proposed move adjacent [to] the Kootenay Lake Hospital will likely have negligible impact on the surrounding downtown core,” he wrote.

A majority of businesses, who with one exception were not named, said they don’t feel the present clinic generates many customers.

“We get no benefit whatsoever — if they are going to move it would be a benefit because we could expand into their space,” one said.

“Although an argument could be made about the increased traffic, I can’t really measure if the clinic is benefitting my business,” said another.

An employee at Pixie Candy added: “I don’t get any business from the clinic, but the dentist offices give me tons of business. People don’t like shopping when they go to the doctor, but they like to celebrate after the dentist and they come here.”

Most businesses predicted little or no effect on them if the clinic moves.

“I can’t really measure how much impact, but I don’t think it will be significant,” one said.

The manager of a pharmacy said if the new clinic has a dispensary, “It won’t hurt my business in a major way, just provide competition and dilute the local market share somewhat.”

Another was enthusiastic about the inclusion of a coffee shop: “That is a much needed business to complement the hospital. About time, too.”

As for patients, many find the current location convenient, although parking is a source of frustration. Some said being closer to the hospital would be a benefit while others disagreed.

“The new location is a pain — but I totally get why they are moving,” said one.

On the whole, the patients indicated the move would make little difference to them.

On Monday, city council passed second reading of the required zoning change and official community plan amendment, despite the continued objections of councillors Donna Macdonald and Robin Cherbo.

Macdonald said the market study didn’t have much effect on her thinking. She said while she can support many aspects of the project, she is “struggling” with the aethestics clinic, seeing it as “much more of a business.”

“I think something like that belongs more in a commercial zone,” she said.

The city is now expected to host an open house on the project in January followed by a formal public hearing. Although no specific dates have been set, council gave staff the go ahead to schedule the meetings.

An open house was previously held in March, but several changes have since been made to the proposal.

(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story erroneously attributed a comment to the owner of Pixie Candy.)

Just Posted

MP Cannings’ long-awaited wood-use bill passes in House vote

The private member’s bill is his first to pass the House, a rare feat for rookie MPs in opposition

Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback to play Nelson

The duo will be at the Civic Theatre on May 31

Grease comes to the Capitol Theatre

The production runs Thursday to Sunday

COLUMN: Watching water, thinking about elections

Columnist Donna Macdonald spoke to Prince George councillor Jillian Merrick about inclusiveness

UPDATE: City opens emergency operations centre

Lakeside Park, its sports fields, and parts of the waterfront could soon be underwater

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Second commercial acid spill in Kootenay city

Station 374 Trail was called to a Hazmat scene Wednesday night on Highway 3B

Kootenay village pot survey reveals a mixed bag

The majority of Warfield respondents were for cannabis sales, but with dispensary restrictions

Most Read