Council approves storage facility

Cranbrook city council approved an application for a new storage use for a building along 1st Avenue South.

Arne Petryshen

Cranbrook city council approved an application for a new storage use for a building along 1st Avenue South.

The application for the amendment to the city’s zoning bylaw comes from Kurt Swanson of KL Swanson Enterprises Ltd for a property at 300 – 1st Avenue South.

City staff recommended that, subject to the public input received prior to the meeting, council give third reading and adopt the bylaw.

Coun. Isaac Hockley said that he initially had concerns when the proposal was brought forward.

“Then the business owner brought the concerns to the staff and they worked on them together and came up with these additional zoning regulations,” he said. “It’s exactly what we want to see businesses in town do, so yeah I support it.”

Coun. Tom Shypitka noted there were a number of entires at the last minute of people for and against the bylaw.

“I totally support the motion as far as city staff is concerned and I will be supporting this bylaw,” Shypitka said.

Coun. Ron Popoff was part of the advisory planning commission (APC) that reviewed the application.

“I just want to share with council, that while there was a recommendation against the proposal, my understanding from the rationale shared by those the APC, was it was less to do with any urgent red flags that this was a bad idea, if anything it was to do with ‘the zoning exists in these locations, so why should we change and set a precedent on it?’”

Popoff said he supports the application.

Shypitka noted that it is all case-by-case situations.

“This is something that is in the town, we’re changing this from Highway Corridor usage to Light Industrial, and both of those land use designations are very, very similar,” Shypitka said. “Therefore I think that we’re doing our job as council looking at this as a case-by-case and find out what is the best use for land.”

Shypitka said one concern he heard was about an increase in traffic.

“The proponent has actually suggested that he would have limited hours, and that’s helpful for sure,” he said. “We can’t forget that before this new use was being looked at, it was a drywall place with forklifts going up and down the alley. I think this is actually going to be better for this concerned citizen.”

Mayor Lee Pratt said this was a case of the business owner and business community discussing with council what they want and require.

“I think it’s good that council shows that it can make a decision and everything is not written in stone,” Pratt said.

“I think, personally, if a business in Cranbrook comes to council and they are willing to work and cooperate with planning and development and council, I think we should try to support it as much as we can.”

City staff noted that Swanson agreed to a number of provisions to be included in the C- 2 zone that will regulate the storage use.

City staff noted that Swanson has confirmed that the front of the building will remain a retail space so the storage use will be less visible to people passing by and not visible from Highway 93/95.

An additional request as part of the application is to permit fencing up to 2.7 m.

There are also plans to landscape the retail side of the building as funds become available.

It should also be noted that under the zoning, the storage of automobiles, vehicles, RVs, boats, trailers and heavy equipment will be prohibited.