• Friday , 27 January 2023

14 units proposed for T-Harbour at public hearing

Conceptual illustration of the proposed multi-story multi-unit residential strata development. illustration district of peachland

Joanne Layh

A public hearing held on Tuesday evening offered Peachland residents the opportunity to learn more details about a development proposal to rezone 5948 Hwy 97 from R-1 Single Detached Residential to RM-4 – Multi-Unit Residential – Medium Density.

The developer of T-Harbour is proposing to construct a 14-unit residential strata development on a 0.4 hectare (0.98 acre) vacant property, which is located in the Lower Princeton neighbourhood approximately 230m south of the Princeton Ave and Hwy 97 intersection, where the lot fronts Princess St to the west, Lilly St to the south, and Hwy 97 to the east.

Map District of Peachland

The developer issued a public information notice last August and the rezoning application later received first and second readings from Peachland council on Nov. 22.

Most of the concerns expressed at the public hearing centred around pedestrian and vehicular access to the property and related traffic impacts.

Planning manager Lor Pellegrino said pedestrians heading downtown will exit onto Lilly St, take some stairs to a sidewalk on Princess St, then head down Princeton Ave and use the underpass to reach Beach Ave. An option for pedestrians to walk along the highway is also being explored.

She explained that the vehicular access to the site will be through a right-in/right-out intersection at Lilly St as required by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), with a concrete “porkchop” in place that will be designed to deter motorists from attempting a left turn onto Hwy 97 as they are leaving the site. Vehicles exiting the property would be required to make a right out of the site onto Hwy 97; if their destination is north they will first need to travel south to Hawkes, up through Princess St, then back onto Hwy 97 at Princeton Ave.

Coun. Alena Glasman asked if the developer would provide improvements to the intersection of Princess St and Princeton Ave.

Her concerns were echoed by resident Denise Krahn, one of three residents who spoke at the public hearing. Krahn wrote to council to express several concerns with the rezoning, and also spoke at the hearing about the lack of safety at the Princeton Ave/Princess St stop light. 

She noted that over the past six years there have been two rollovers at that intersection and said adding more traffic to that location is a huge concern. 

She also cited numerous accidents in front of their home on Hwy 97 and suggested signage warning motorists of the stop line.

The highway speed limit at Lilly St is 90 km/h southbound and 70 km/h northbound. In their referral letter to MOTI district staff requested that the ministry reduce the southbound limit to 70 km/h, however, a speed limit reduction was not included in their response to the municipality.  

Pellegrino noted Lilly St will require upgrades from the developer that include widening, restoration of the existing base and asphalt surface, installation of a stop sign, a sidewalk and stairs for pedestrians to connect the Lilly St cul-de-sac bulb to Princess St and about 65m of road and sidewalk improvements along Princess St, among other improvements to the property.

District staff are recommending that council support the project as new medium density multi-unit residential development is encouraged in Lower Princeton and the 2016 Citizen Survey demonstrated wide community support for increasing the number of dwelling units in the neighbourhood. In her address to council Pellegrino said services are available and adequate to sustain the increased density and infill would make this an efficient use of municipal services and would also increase the municipality’s tax base. 

She outlined how the developer’s conceptual design demonstrates consideration of the municipality’s objectives and policies, noting that the proposal avoids building on steeper slopes to the west; a preliminary geotechnical report has been submitted; the need for retaining structures is minimized; and the conceptual building layout provides lake views that the developer intends to maximize.

While some off-site improvements are required, Pellegrino said the existing community infrastructure can accommodate the proposed development. 

The OCP land use designation for this property is Medium Density Residential (MDR) and the rezoning is consistent with the MDR policies in OCP, she said.

However, the planning department recommended attaching numerous zoning conditions that would need to be met by the developer at various stages along the way.

Based on a 14-unit concept, if the project proceeds the municipality would levy development cost charges totalling an estimated $324,870, community amenity contributions totalling $26,278, as well as parkland cash-in-lieu. 

Pellegrino said the planning department hopes to present third reading for council consideration at the Jan. 24 regular meeting.

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One Comment

  1. Andrew
    January 19, 2023 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    I’m curious as to why all the new developments across North America seem to always be sterile, white/gray/beige boxes with not much character. I would think that architects would have more of a creative impulse to design the places that we dwell. Or is this a money-saving move that allows simple replications of buildings made by designers without a background in architecture? In any case, it’s important to understand that buildings are community investments and we’re stuck with them for at least a few decades. We should think carefully about what we create.

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