Nelson City Council will hold a public hearing into zoning for Dr. Andre Kirsten’s proposed Ancron medical clinic on May 11. At its April 20 meeting, council amended some details of the project.
The changes, approved unanimously by council with minimal discussion, include:
- Restricting permitted uses to medical services (which includes a dispensing pharmacy) and a restaurant. Council removed care services and professional and business offices from the permitted uses list,
- Creation of a professional landscape plan that provides increased landscaping in designated areas of the property,
- Vegetative screening for all adjacent residences,
- Opaque fencing on the east and west property lines,
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems contained with in the building,
- Systems to minimize noise levels exceeding 45 decibels, odours, glare, electrical interference, and ground vibration.
Before council approved those changes, it had to rescind a previous first and second reading of the same bylaw done last fall, and it did so because at a public open house on March 19 Kirsten came forward with the above-listed changes intended to address some of the concerns of the neighbours.
The medical clinic would consist of a 15,000-square foot two-storey building at 10 View St. to replace Ancron’s current offices in the Nelson Trading Company on Baker St. The three View Street lots, currently zoned residential, are proposed to be rezoned to “mixed use medical,” a zoning designation the city has created specifically for this project.
In an interview after the meeting, Kirsten said, “We have made significant changes in terms of lowering the building and we have listened to our neighbours and created a setback or barrier to protect them from noise. I look forward to the public hearing to address any more concerns there might be.”
Dr. Trevor Janz, who has dual interest as an emergency room doctor and an immediate residential neighbour of the proposed building thinks “the clinic is a good idea for this site” but he is concerned about its size.
“It is two and a half times larger than the Medical Associates Clinic. It is larger in area and capacity both, and it is at forty per cent lot coverage, which is the maximum allowable in commercial zoning. It is as big as it can possibly be for council to allow it.”
Janz said he is also concerned about parking and congestion, even though a traffic study commissioned by Ancron last year concluded that traffic increases would not be significant.
After the May 11 public hearing, the project will come before council for a final vote.