A 78-unit development along Cranbrook’s Parnaby Road is a step closer to reality.
Zoning and official community plan (OCP) amendments have passed their third reading.
According to City of Cranbrook staff, the application was sent in by Haworth Development Consulting on behalf of the owners, Oasis at the Dunes Ltd., with the goal of developing a four-hectare plot of land.
The land, described as Lot 5 along Parnaby Road, is located in the St. Mary neighbourhood.
The plan includes 50 duplex units and 28 townhomes. City council documents note the finished development would have an overall density of 20 units per hectare.
Cranbrook staff said the proposed zoning bylaw amendments include new housing forms of two, three and four-family dwellings by adding “low density development district” and accompanying zoning regulations.
“The City of Cranbrook completed a boundary expansion in 2007 to bring the Shadow Mountain development into the city,” said Richard Haworth, spokesperson for the developer, during Monday’s public hearing.
“A new OCP for the St. Mary neighbourhood was adopted. As part of this OCP, this area was specified for future development, while not specifying the type of development proposed.”
Haworth noted that nearby lands within the same OCP area have been zoned as low or medium-density residential.
The zoning designation of the subject property will also change from RR-4, which is a holdover from when the lot was outside of city limits. The former RDEK designation was retained as part of Cranbrook’s northern boundary expansion.
The amendments passed with a 3-2 vote during Monday’s council meeting, after a lengthy discussion and public hearing.
During the discussion, Councillor Norma Blissett said 30 letters opposed the development.
Blissett was one of two city council members who voted against the amendments.
“I don’t think it’s suitable for multi-family housing. I’m always in favour of multi-family housing in town, on bus routes and where I think it’s suitable. I don’t think it’s suitable in the countryside,” said Blissett.
“It was brought up during the public hearing, about greenhouse gas emissions. We do have a target of trying to reduce that, and then we go and approve a development that will only increase greenhouse gas emissions. I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
Meanwhile, Councillor Wayne Price voted in favour of the amendments, noting that Cranbrook needs more housing.
“We have a fair amount of land that is available, we even have land available within Shadow Mountain, but city council cannot force developers to develop,” said Price. “Look in Cranbrook, we’re sitting on acreage in the prime core of our city that has been sitting there for 50, 60 years.If the owners of those properties are not willing to sell it or develop it, we have no control over that.”
“Until we get a major developer that comes in there and does something of some scope or scale, I’m really concerned that we’re not going to see development move forward,” said Price.
The advisory planning commission considered the proposed amendments last week and recommended that council reject the OCP and zoning amendments.
City staff note that “concerns included the incompatibility of the proposed multi-family development with the adjacent and surrounding land uses and the sewer matter having not been resolved to date.”
Councillor Price noted that the developer is responsible for the cost of all infrastructure work needed to facilitate the project.
If the development moves forward, the area will need to be supplied by city sewage and water infrastructure, as it does not have those services at present.
City officials note that the developer agreed to a “no-build restrictive covenant,” which will prevent any building permits from being issued until municipal sewer and water connections are available.
“The intent of this covenant is to allow the proponent to move forward with planning and permits required so that when sewer and water is connected to the property, they can commence construction immediately,” said Haworth.