Cranbrook city council held off on moving forward with a proposed apartment development in Wildstone until additional details are ironed out between the proponent, city staff and the public.
Mayor and councillors discussed the proposed development, which includes three four-storey apartment structures totalling 237 units, during first and second readings of proposed amendments to the Official Community Plan and zoning bylaw on Monday night.
However, council opted to put the process on pause to allow for an opportunity for the developer to meet with staff in a public forum where a more fulsome discussion around some of the issues raised by nearby residents can occur.
“With what we were presented with here, and with all the letters from the strata members, there’s been some points brought up that aren’t in our report and I think, realistically and conscientiously, myself, I would rather have a meeting with the developer, where he can explain to us, in his terms, what his plans are,” said Mayor Lee Pratt, during the debate.
“We can ask the questions, and certainly, there’s been some points brought up that aren’t in our report. So now that we’ve been made aware of that, we can get clarification from the developer and our planning and engineering department and then I think we have a more educated point on making a decision whether we want to proceed.”
The property, just under three hectares in size just east of Wildstone Drive, is being developed as a rental housing project by Crowne Pacific Development Corp. Specific amendments to OCP and zoning bylaws include changes permitting a rental apartment category, as well as increasing the density of the lot from 102 to 237 dwelling units.
The proposal includes three apartment buildings with a mix of unit sizes, as well as a clubhouse on a lot just north of the water feature on Hole 12.
However, the council agenda package included a number of letters from residents in Wildstone neighbourhoods such as The Whims, Boulder Creek and Legacy Lookout who are opposed to the proposed development.
Common themes from residents in opposition included traffic access in case of emergencies, given that there is only one entrance and exit from Wildstone, as well as traffic safety, given Wildstone Drive is a gravel road at the proposed site.
Other concerns raised in the letters of opposition include the fact that residents of the development won’t be paying into strata fees, the potential impact on neighbouring property values from a market-rental development, and the fit within the neighbourhood plan.
Council voted to hold a meeting with the developer and senior staff through a Committee of the Whole meeting, where the public can tune in to a livestream and watch both sides discuss the issues. That meeting has yet to be announced, but will be posted on the City of Cranbrook’s website when a date is set.