Positive feedback for proposed development

Vernon's McMechan Reservoir proposal draws more than 50 to public open house

Public feedback has been pretty positive to a planned new neighbourhood development in Vernon.

The city hosted an open house for the proposed development on the old McMechan Reservoir at the top of 39th Avenue and Mutrie Road Wednesday at the Vernon Recreation Centre.

“There’s generally an understanding that there’s a real need for residential development in our growing city,” said city long-range planner Cleo Corbett. “The development is close to services and infrastructure so it makes sense, and people realize there is a need for affordable housing options.”

The open house drew more than 50 people over the three hours, where people could have a look at the early plans.

The 20-acre, 172-lot site in the 900 block of 39th Avenue was sold by the city in December for $6.5 million. The developer has applied to rezone the land, and for a five-phase development agreement to be drafted.

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The site would include housing options, with 10 per cent of the proposed homes being attainable and affordable housing. There would be ground-oriented single-family homes, duplexes, row housing with fee-simple ownership instead of strata.

The development also includes a new park space, connected trails and the possibility of a small commercial enterprise, which Corbett said could be a coffee shop, convenience store or a daycare facility.

“We’ve received lots of positive feedback over the park, the connected trails and the small commercial space,” she said.

Feedback has also been coming to the city’s engagevernon.ca website, and the city will take public comments through that site up until Feb. 15.

“We wanted to engage the public early in the process in terms of the concepts and preliminary designs,” said Corbett. “Before any detailed design work is done, we want to include the feedback and address it before moving to a more detailed design.”

Once those things happen, the plan will return to council to address the developer’s desire to rezone the land, and for the five-phase development agreement to be drafted.

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