Plans for a 60-unit housing project on Hay Road in Upper Arrow Heights are moving forward to the next step following a marathon council discussion about the proposal that saw one councillor vote against the bylaws that would allow the development to proceed.
The “Stoked Living” development is shaping up to be a controversial one, with many neighbours expressing concerns about over-development in the neighbourhood, which is already slated for extensive further building with the next phases of the nearby Mackenzie Village development.
In the lead up to the meeting, a city councillor who resigned in early 2020 over ethical concerns about a council self-pay raise plan posted a condemnation of the process to social media, saying the city wasn’t following its official community plan, or plans to develop neighbourhood plans. This led to a fairly divisive back and forth, with development community members, councillors, and neighbours weighing in with sometimes personal attacks.
For an early story on this project from revelstokemountaineer.com, see this story:
At the July 29 council meeting, council discussed a report on the proposal, and considered a zoning bylaw change and an official community plan change. Both are necessary to develop the project in its current form.
The development is a test of the city’s new ‘developer-led’ consultation process, where the developer leads public consultation, then works with city staff to revise the project. City development services director Marianne Wade defended the process, saying it had led to changes in the proposal that reflected neighbours’ concerns.
Residents sent letters to the Mountaineer, saying their input on the project had not been included in the package presented to council, and their concerns were not expressed in the staff report on the project. At the council table, councillors asked why letters to council hadn’t been included in the agenda; staff said they would be included later, such as at a public hearing on the project.
Neighbours have voiced concerns about traffic through the neighbourhood, lack of safe pathways for schoolchildren, change in character of the neighbourhood, cumulative impact of ongoing development, among other concerns.
For recent background on the Stoked Living development, see this story:
The next steps in the process will include a public hearing, where residents can express their concerns over the proposal. The hearing procedure under COVID-19 restrictions has not yet been defined, but could include a meeting at the community centre or a video conference.
Councillor Cody Younker voted against a first reading of the bylaw. Under COVID-19 rules, the city does not allow media to attend council meetings or ask questions of council via video. The recording of the meeting was marred by poor audio quality, making parts of the discussion hard to understand. It was difficult to tell the result of some votes because those voting were not on screen, but ultimately the proposal proceeded to the next steps. It is unclear when public hearings will be held, but there was some discussion of September or beyond.
See this link to watch the discussion of the video, which is cued to the start of the discussion: