Invermere development close to final approval

Council approves zoning ammendment for 14-unit development

A new residential strata development, somewhat similar in scope and conception to the Osprey Lane condominiums, moved another step closer to fruition.

During its Tuesday, May 23rd meeting, council members unanimously voted to give zoning bylaw amendments allowing for the 14-unit development (which is being done by valley residents Kat Hartwig and Helmut Spiegel) third reading, with adoption being held pending a development permit application that must be approved by council. Council also voted that the district require of the couple a residential infill development permit, a traffic impact assessment, and a covenant restricting the maximum development height to 7.5 metres.

Planner Rory Hromadnik detailed to council the results of a public hearing held on the planned development, saying that much of the concern raised related to height (the zoning change, were it not for the 7.5 height covenant, would otherwise allow buildings up to 12.3 metres high) and to potential changes in local traffic flow that the development (which would be sandwiched between 11th Avenue and 13th Street) might bring.

“Access off 11th (Avenue) was a bit of an issue for the residents that already live there. It’s a quiet street and they want to keep it that way,” said Hromadnik. “There is another issue, however, since 13th is a really busy street. There is a lot of vehicle traffic, and there is also a lot of foot traffic. There are a lot of kids going up and down that street to and from school. There was concern (at the public hearing) about 11th (Avenue) becoming a bypass to and from 13th (Street).”

Hromadnik also said there was concern from nearby residents about property values – with some worrying the new development would lower their property values, and others worrying it would push such values, and consequently property taxes, too far up.

“The concern doesn’t seem to be in density or number of units, but seems to be more in some of the details,” said Invermere mayor Gerry Taft. “I think in terms of location, it (the development) is a spot that makes sense for residential infill.”

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Also during the May 23rd meeting, council members voted to grant more than $5,000 worth of rebates to developers Christine Shaw and Jay Lightfoot under the district’s residential building and incentive rebate policy. The rebates relate to steps taken by the couple to make the four-plex development more energy efficient and more accessible.

“I commend any builders building to those standards,” said councillor Paul Denchuk.

Taft added that typically these rebates are available only for single family homes, but that it made sense to grant them in this case, even though the development is a four-plex.

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