The city of Revelstoke and developer David Evans are in disagreement over proposed zoning amendments and a land-use change for Mackenzie Village phases 2 and 3. The city insists the the changes are necessary, Evans is equally insistent they are not.
The city’s advisory planning commission discussed the proposed zoning amendments and land-use change, along with the request for a development permit during its regular meeting held on Wednesday, Sept. 12. The commission gave its support for the development permit to be issued, as well as the proposed zoning amendments and land-use change although its members did express concerns about the proposed number of parking spaces.
In a report, city planner Daniel Sturgeon said the land-use change is required because while the proposal includes less than the maximum commercial floor area and apartment units than the CD-17 zone permits, the uses have been spread across a larger land area. Sturgeon said that as a result, a zoning amendment is also required. Other proposed zoning amendments include a request to increase floor-space for commercial units from 200 square meters to 350 square meters, and an amendment to permit a fourth-storey on two apartment buildings without providing underground parking.
Evans insisted on speaking to the commission during Sturgeon’s presentation at Wednesday’s meeting to make it known he disagreed with the proposed amendments and to provide the commission with his reasoning. Sturgeon said he felt the meeting was not the appropriate place to discuss a dispute, however Evans was allowed to speak.
In an interview with the Mountaineer, Evans said he believes the development is not subject to the city’s parking regulations. He said there is adequate underground parking for all of the buildings, however the parking is located under two of the apartment buildings, rather than all four. In addition ground level parking is also included for phases 2 and 3 of the development, with four spaces earmarked for car share vehicles. Evans said removing the underground parking from buildings 1 and 4 will reduce their overall cost, making them more affordable. He is also proposing one-third of the apartments in buildings 1 and 4 be held under a 10-year covenant that would restrict them to market rental housing with no vacation rentals being allowed.
Evans also disagreed with the proposed land-use change, saying the CD-17 zoning covers the entire development.
“We’re not changing any zoning, they’re trying to force us into a rezoning,” he said.
The dispute between the city and Evans was brought to the Mountaineer’s attention prior to the advisory planning commission meeting. The Mountaineer spoke with city of Revelstoke chief administrative officer Allan Chabot on Monday afternoon. Chabot said it isn’t the city’s practice to debate professional planning opinions through the media.
“I understand there is a difference of opinion if a rezoning amendment is required,” said Chabot.
Evans said he was pleased to see the commission lending its support for the zoning amendments, but remains concerned that the project could change should the amendments not receive council’s support. Should the zoning amendments be denied, Evans says the size of the commercial units will be reduced back down to 200 square meters and the market rental covenant for one-third of the apartments would be removed from buildings 1 and 4.
The recommendations from the advisory planning commission will be forwarded to Revelstoke city council for their consideration.
In an email to the Mountaineer, developer David Evans said if staff were not in support of variances and insist on rezoning they will be removed from the development.
“Namely the increase in commercial size and the reduction in total underground parking in lieu of market rental units. This would be done before it goes to council we will not be forced into a rezoning application that is not required,” said Evans.