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Cranbrook Council denies Wildstone’s zoning proposal for mobile homes on Echo Field Road

Seeking to subdivide and rezone their 44-acre lot on Echo Field Road, the Wildstone Heights Property Corporation wanted to change the zoning to allow for mobile homes.

The application was made by Brad McInnes on behalf of the Wildstone Heights Property Corporation, officially looking to change the current designation of low-density development in the Official Community Plan (OCP) and the zoning of Urban Holding Zone Residential (UH-R). The applicant was hoping to subdivide the 44-acre parcel, with the northern portion of the property being rezoned as Mobile Home and Single Family Residential Zone (R-7) and the southern portion of the property as Mobile Home Park Residential Zone (R-8).

Coming before City Council on Monday for first reading, the amendment bylaw was unanimously voted down following staff’s recommendation to defeat it.

MORE: Wildstone Heights Property Corp – Echo Field Road – Zoning Amendment Bylaw (City of Cranbrook)

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As per the report to City Council, the preliminary concept for the rezoning would have seen the eventual construction of 144 mobile homes and single-family lots on the north side of the parcel and 110 mobile home park lots to the south.

Conceptual plans for the north portion of the Echo Field Road parcel by the Wildstone Height’s Property Corporation. (Supplied by City of Cranbrook, Strong Way Inc.)

City staff said the purpose of the UH-R zone is to protect lands for future urban development from premature subdivision and development. That’s to ensure urban development is compatible with the City’s OCP.

City staff made note that there are already a large number of properties zoned to R-7 or R-8 already, which are currently under development or available for the development of mobile homes. For example, the City identified the undeveloped 33.4-acre old race track lands on the other side of Echo Field Road, the undeveloped 10-acre El Camino Mobile Home Park, and 14.7 acres of undeveloped land from Bains Development Ltd. above Farbrook Auto Wrecking on 6th Street North. The City said there are also 2.3 acres on Pinnacle Cresent and another 1.2 acres on Pagarut Avenue, which is currently constructing 10 lots for mobile homes.

“There is approximately 62 acres of land and numerous already developed, or under construction lots, currently available and zoned for mobile homes and mobile home parks in Cranbrook,” reads the report to City Council.

From City staff’s perspective, there has been a strong take-up of single-family, townhouse and multi-unit housing types in Wildstone’s adjacent development – Legacy Lookout, Boulder Creek and the Whins. The City’s observations also point to strong interest in four-plex housing units on 5th Avenue South and the remaining townhouses of the Kelowna Crescent development.

“A key take away from the recent Housing Study report presented to Council was that developing and maintaining a wide variety of housing forms, sizes, tenures, and affordability should be an objective,” adds staff’s report to City Council. “A mix of housing forms is likely to provide the most housing opportunities for current and new residents while providing for a wide range of incomes and aspirations.”

From those factors and observations, staff recommended that City Council deny the proposed zoning amendment for Echo Field Road.

Conceptual plans for the south portion of the Echo Field Road parcel by the Wildstone Height’s Property Corporation. (Supplied by City of Cranbrook, Strong Way Inc.)

“Given the existing availability of land and un-developed lots already zoned for R-7 and R-8 uses within Cranbrook, the OCP guidance for the intensification of land uses, and a higher density mix of housing, and the housing needs report suggestion of varied housing types, staff feel the current rezoning application is not supported by the OCP as proposed.”

Cranbrook City Council was in unanimous agreement to vote down the first reading of the bylaw.

“I think the background information that staff provided gave us a good idea and overview of how much land is available currently for R-7 zone and R-8, mobile home park, so I’m happy with that,” said Councillor Wes Graham.

“I agree with staff’s recommendation here,” added Councillor John Hudak. “I think we’re going to be getting to a point where we’re going to be seeing our housing shortage – is going to be dealt with. Up in this particular area, I’m not exactly sure that I would be in favour of seeing this type of housing in that particular area. It has some great sightlines to the east, whether it be Fisher Peak or the Steeples, and for that reason, if we’re going to do anything up in that area I’d like to see more along the line of single-family homes.”

Councillor Wayne Price was in agreement as well.

“Certainly, the message from Council in the past had been that we’re open for business and we support development. But the rationale in this report from staff, you know, really it’s difficult not to support their request to deny this application.”

Voting against the zoning amendment bylaw at first reading effectively renders the proposal defeated.

The subject property of the Echo Field Road proposed rezoning by the Wildstone Height’s Property Corporation to R-7 and R-8. (Supplied by City of Cranbrook, Strong Way Inc.)
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