Seven recommendations have been made prior to moving forward with a bylaw for a major development in Arrow Heights.
A 135-page staff report on the proposed 1,200-unit Mackenzie Village development is asking for the developer to complete a number of studies prior to moving on a new bylaw.
They include a financial impact study, traffic study, infrastructure & servicing study, environmental report, parks & trails plan, waste management plan and an affordable housing strategy.
The report by Dean Strachan, the manager of development services, follows the April 30 open house that was attended by 154 people.
The massive mixed-use, high-density development would be located on 35 acres of land off Nichol Road.
Strachan has made the following recommendations prior to developing a bylaw:
— That a study looking at the financial impact on the city be conducted. The study would look at the impact if it was developed as single family residential, and if it was developed as proposed.
— That a traffic study be conducted by a civil engineer, including reviews of access points to the development, the Illecillewaet Rover crossing and the Nichol Road/Airport Way intersection.
— That a plan be developed that looks at what infrastructure will be needed to support the development. This would provide the framework for a Development Servicing Agreement if the application proceeds.
— That environmental conditions of the site be reviewed by a professional biologist.
— That a parks and trails plan be developed.
— That the site use a centralize waste disposal system with enclosed bins to prevent wildlife access.
— That an agreement be reached that could outline parameters for affordable housing.
Strachan’s report includes a copy of all the feedback received following the open house. There was a mix of support, opposition, and many views in between. Common themes included support for mixed-use, affordable housing and the proposed limited commercial use, while concerns were expressed about the proposed density, traffic, infrastructure capacity and the sheer number of units. Many people outright opposed the proposal.
PHOTO: These images show the concept plans for a major development planned for Arrow Heights. The plans were unveiled last week. Images from Selkirk Planning & Design.
Here’s a sample of comments.
— “We need a project like this. The spin offs will help our community. Getting ready to retire. I would buy one to stay in Revelstoke rather than going to the Okanagan.”
— “I think this is what Revelstoke needs. A place for people to go that don’t want to do yard work anymore. People like new homes.”
— “Seems logical to have additional access in this area to aid in traffic reduction near hospital access.”
— “Great idea. The buffer zone of lower density housing is a nice touch.”
— “I am worried about extra traffic on 4th Street and Airport Way (maybe remedied by adding a couple street lights for the people trying to turn onto those streets.)”
— “Less units!! Need a real emphasis on naturally occurring community planning, not forced. ie. planned but not utilized because it doesn’t foster community.”
— “This area needs to remain R1 single family. We all live in Arrow Heights to have space. We didn’t want crowded neighbourhoods, that’s why we built where we did.”
— “To support any development in Arrow Heights the city needs to link the footpaths from the development to downtown. Airport Way will get a lot busier and infrastructure needs to keep up with the extra traffic.”
— “lf commercial is to be introduced suggest no one commercial space over 1500 Sq ft. per retail location. Residence above commercial space should be encouraged.”
— “We are an expanding community. Whether here or elsewhere in the community, we will expand. I think we should consider the proposal.”
— “The cost of snow removal will be extreme because of the design of roads, housing, parking lots, sidewalks, etc…”
— “I think building a huge complex in a nice quiet residential neighbourhood is wrong. 1500 units is a lot of people. They’ll all be trying to go over our tiny bridge, speeding thru my daughter’s school zone, and putting strain on our systems. Can we actually supply them with water and sewer?”
— “I think mixed housing types is great, but having highest density on the already busy Nichol Road in winter is not so good.”
— “As a local business owner in construction it is exciting to see the potential for the economic growth this project will bring.”
The report includes a response to concerns from developer David Evans. He said the plan is designed to be flexible so that if smaller units are not being purchased, bigger homes could be built instead. He said the capacity designed to support the development of Revelstoke Mountain Resort could also support his proposal. They are already conducting an infrastructure study. The development would tap into the city sewer line, but road maintenance, snow removal, garbage and recycling would be paid for by the development, Evans wrote.
Council is scheduled to discuss the report this Tuesday, June 9.
You can read the complete report below.