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Mayor Dan Curtis

City council approves Centennial Street complex

A new three-storey apartment building for Centennial Street in Porter Creek was approved by city council Tuesday night, but not unanimously.

By Chuck Tobin on November 13, 2019

A new three-storey apartment building for Centennial Street in Porter Creek was approved by city council Tuesday night, but not unanimously.

The required rezoning of lot 1306 from single-family to multi-family raised the ire of some local residents and had council divided on just how far to push its desire to see increased housing density in the city.

After another lengthy exchange among the elected representatives, the zoning amendment was approved, with councillors Samson Hartland and Dan Boyd voting against the proposal.

Developer Scott Darling sat through last night’s proceedings.

In an interview afterwards, Darling said he’ll be concentrating on final design of the project with expectations of beginning construction next year.

With frost already in the ground, it’s just not possible to do anything further this year, he said.

Darling said he recognized there was some opposition but he also did a little canvassing in the neighbourhood and found that it was not all one-sided.

The neighbours on both sides of him, and the Elm Street resident directly behind him, were in support of the project, he said.

Darling said he recognizes the city is in need of housing, and what he wants to bring to the neighbourhood is a project that fits in, not something to build quickly and then flip.

The project involves a three-storey apartment building with eight units attached to a two-storey, garage-style building that has already been built. The garage and storage area will have one living unit and will house some of the mechanical requirements for the main building.

When asked by council earlier this fall about going ahead with the garage before the rezoning was approved, Darling said if he didn’t get approval, he would simply subdivide the lot. The garage structure, he emphasized, was fully permitted.

In approving the rezoning, council attached a requirement that the building be no higher than 13 metres, or two metres shy of what is allowed for in a multi-family zone. They also capped the number of housing units at nine, or two fewer than the maximum density that would have otherwise been allowed.

Darling noted he never proposed anything higher than 13 metres. And while he was originally looking for 10 units – nine in the apartment building and one in the garage – he can live with council’s decision.

Concerns expressed by members of council last night and previously focused on changing the single-family flavour of the neighbourhood overnight.

There were concerns about increased traffic on an already-busy Centennial Street. The impact on neighbours who would lose privacy and sunlight by having a building of that height overlooking their yards was a concern raised.

Coun. Hartland reiterated last night he supports densification of the city’s neighbourhood to meet the city’s housing challenge.

But nine new units in one shot on one lot in a largely single-family neighbourhood was not something he could accept, he said.

Hartland said he would be agreeable to a six-unit development with a 10-metre height restriction like the townhouse development a couple of doors down on the corner of Centennial and 12th Avenue.

Boyd also suggested the jump in density was just too much for him to support, suggesting it was going too far, too fast.

Coun. Steve Roddick, on the other hand, noted the lot on Centennial was a perfect fit for a multi-residential development, and was an opportunity for council to achieve densification under near ideal circumstances.

The location is short walk to a grocery store, to a school, a bus stop, he pointed out.

He said if council’s concern was that it was going too far too fast, his was hoping not to find themselves in a situation where they’ve done too little, too late.

Mayor Dan Curtis told council he grew up on Centennial Street and has seen many changes.

The Super A was an old tire shop when he was a kid, he said.

Curtis said for him, increasing housing opportunities is the most fundamental need the city has.

Comments (14)

Up 1 Down 0

Max Mack on Nov 19, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Remember how the courts ruled against Darragh when CoW sued her over her petition against a proposed gravel operation? Remember how the judge said the OCP reflected democratic will? (insert laugh track)

Funny how CoW gets to change its mind whenever it likes.
So much for "democracy".

Up 2 Down 1

My Opinion on Nov 18, 2019 at 5:07 pm

Dan is Correct on the old Tire Shop at that location. In 1973 I built my first Stock Car there. You other guys must be Cheechakos. Hahaha no offence I guess I am just older.

Up 11 Down 2

Josey Wales on Nov 16, 2019 at 10:19 pm

Hey Brenda...there are no wards residing there yet.
Still under going epic Reno I believe, waiting for the gold toilet and platinum bidets and urinals. Might have exotic hardwood floors from old growth South American forests....dunno?

Certain marble countertops and heaps of commercial stainless appliances.
I have seen no cop cars or ambulances there yet, so that alone tells me not online yet....that completely socially engineered politicly inclusive money pit!

They must be near the 4 million dollar mark by now, when one factors in the road getting ripped up and “hood” splicing upgrades exclusive to this monstrosity.
And they have not even started on the pool and sauna, summertime I suppose.
Any guesses as to a generator there too? I say yup.
Any guesses whether you can tie in a generator on your house in town?

....I say 5 million before a wee misunderstood youngster has a shower.

Up 11 Down 2

Brenda on Nov 15, 2019 at 10:51 pm

Whatever happened to that group home on Wann road ? Did it ever open? Or are we still pouring money into that ? If the housing will be affordable then it’s good news but I suspect it won’t be so like the Wann road group home just another money grab with meaningful consultation with the neighbours. Way to go city. Is The Wann road money pit open with actual kids in it ?

Up 9 Down 7

Dan Curtis on Nov 15, 2019 at 7:53 pm

The current Chinese restaurant in Porter Creek was a small corner store for many years but once Paul Mitchel and Vivian Kitchen bought it the store soon became a Bigway store. The first and only competition to then Kelly Douglas distributers. The Chevron/Tire shop beside "Robby's Hobbys (Robby Hemmings) was next to the laundry mat. The gas station/tire shop was run by Butch N (sp) with his wife Carol and his brother. In time Paul and Vivian bought the current Super A land off of Yukon icon Roy Jamison where a Tire shop and for a time a restaurant was in business. I started working at the Bigway 42 yeas ago in the store at the tender age of 12 cleaning the laundry 3 days a week. I owe so much to Paul Mitchel and Vivian Kitchen !!!! Fond memories of an awesome place to grow up with so many wonderful opportunities afforded to me at such a young age !!!!

Up 6 Down 4

Charlie's Aunt on Nov 15, 2019 at 3:41 pm

@ Isaac; my memory tells me you are correct re tire shop location, but there was a grocery store nearby. I think it was where the Chinese restaurant is now, it was the forerunner of the present Super A but I can't remember if that was the name back then. Mayor Dan's recollection is a bit off base.

Up 19 Down 0

Miles Epanhauser on Nov 15, 2019 at 12:15 pm

I think there are inherent issues with democracy.
Council votes but the poor people who live nearby these developments suffer.

Up 8 Down 2

Isaac Stout on Nov 14, 2019 at 10:07 pm

Hey Bill, try "Fosters Lodge". I remember 'Alex' and 'Butch's garage and tire shop up beside the pawn shop but not at 'Super A'. I could be wrong though.

Up 28 Down 3

Matthew on Nov 14, 2019 at 6:25 am

More ugly townhouses worth 500K isn't going to solve anything.... do we have 500 rentals available? The city needs affordable rentals.

Up 36 Down 3

Used to live on Centennial... on Nov 13, 2019 at 8:33 pm

I grew up on Centennial and if you look at it now, it's just turning into multi housing lots. So much for having a good sized yard and some trees. Let's just jam everybody together without enough parking, with vehicles parked all along Centennial, dogs running all over...... And sorry, for Mr. Darling to say he's doing it to help the housing crisis, you are doing it for money. I'm sure that you won't be living in one of your apartments on that property. Compromises put forth by councillor Boyd and Hartland should have been listened to. I think multi living units like apartment blocks should have much more stringent protocols in place to be approved, such as unanimous support of all of the neighbours.

Up 23 Down 3

Josey Wales on Nov 13, 2019 at 6:53 pm

Full steam ahead eh? There ya have it folks, more civic wizardry.
I used to think our OCP was in pencil, requiring the usual civic truckload of erasers to appease their cronies, make speculators wealthier.
I no longer do, rather seems more like chalk on a private chalkboard.
The folks with the dirty hands, are the ones wiping the board, changing the game, moving the posts etc.

The last line in this article reads as the personal opinion of Dan Curtis, great he can have one.
Dan Curtis whom is our mayor, represents our sty...his personal opinion has nothing to do with civic governance.
That last line, if representing the office as mayor should really read...

Curtis said for him(as mayor), achieving a sense of financial responsibility is the most fundamental need the city has.

Those poor folks that will no longer be able to enjoy the privacy...gone!
Shameful what our civic wizards have rammed into Porter Creek in the last few years...absolutely shameful.
Allow me to predict when we get our safe injection site, we will get at least two. One on “the strip” in our composted core, and one in Porter Creek.
After all there used to be a tire shop...seen many changes.

Up 40 Down 2

Miles Epanhauser on Nov 13, 2019 at 5:25 pm

My opinion is that Councillors Boyd and Hartland often vote based upon principle; their guiding principles usually favour residents who end up suffering from the voting of our mayor and the remaining councillors.

Up 61 Down 6

Mr M on Nov 13, 2019 at 3:59 pm

Just start building anything without any ok's and then the City will ok it. Something doesn't smell right here.

Up 70 Down 6

Very interesting on Nov 13, 2019 at 2:57 pm

Funny how Curtis, Rodick and all the yes votes aren't voting for increased densification in their neighborhoods but it's ok everywhere else.

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