By David F. Rooney
More than 200 people attended Wednesday evening’s Public Hearing on David and Shelley Evans’ high-density Mackenzie Landing residential development proposed for Arrow Heights.
44 people spoke at the hearing and there was an interesting mix of commentary both positive and negative.
“For many people it’s a large and complex proposal,” Evans told the audience at the hearing. The development envisions at least 1,100 units built on 14.4 hectares off Nichol Road. Please click here to read documents provided to Council.
Many of the people who attended the meeting, like contractor George Buhler, believe recent events that have seen some development proposals firmly rejected by the community will have a chilling effect on commercial growth if projects such as this one are turned down.
“I think this project is a good project in that it will send out a message that we are, in fact, not as bad we hear we are,” he said. “You know, I get out there and hear these comments day-after-day about how badly we treat people… I think we need to change that image.”
“It’s good to get everyone’s opinion… but what we’re looking at are the merits of the proposal as written up,” said engineer Gilles Lussier, who also produced a cartoon about the outcome of the meeting (you can see Gilles’ artistic effort at the bottom of this page). He said the plans really don’t address issues such as traffic flow, parking and more.
Given that “we have a developer here today” who is willing to build, former Councillor Gary Starling wondered why no one is approaching the School District about the tracts it has that are available for development. He also questioned why so many residents recently seem willing to throw developers under the bus.
“We need change,” he said. “We have to wrap our heads around that.”
Senior Bill Shuttleworth might be someone you’d expect to oppose the development, but he sees it as something that could well keep seniors such as he and his wife Helen here in town once they’ve decided to downsize their lives (as many seniors do).
“I don’t think this is all going to get developed at once… it will be developed in phases,” he said, adding that despite the anxiety some people are feeling many details of the project are going to be changed and finessed as time goes on..
One general problem that some in Revelstoke have expressed concern about is the poor state of employment. A number of people asked: ‘Where are the jobs?’ Where are they indeed? But without a ready and broad supply of decent housing it will be difficult to attract new business and the people who work at them.
Gary Graf said leadership, the willingness to consider other views and confidence in the community will ultimately yield a project that will ne am overall plus for everyone in Revelstoke. There has to be a way for people to sit down and hammer out a development that works for everyone.
Below is a list of everyone who spoke at th hearing in the order in which they spoke into the microphone and the time, on The Revelstoke Current’s video, at which they had their say.
- Gordon Murray — 40:09
- George Buhler — 37:35
- Peter Bernacki — 34:49
- Derek Lammie — 26:22
- Judy Goodman — 21:54
- Peter Humphreys —19:42
- Todd Arthurs — 13:53
- Fraser Blyth — 7:19
- David Evans — 3:18
- Vikki Haines — 42:48
- Rebekah Jenkins — 45:22
- Gilles Lussier — 48:34
- Gary Starling — 54:48
- Tuulikki Tenant — 57:36
- Heidi Miertsch — 58:56
- Dylan Maltby — 1:00:34
- Jonathan Bennet — 1:01:37
- Bill Shuttleworth — 1:04;11
- Beth Manson — 1:05:43
- Louise Brown — 1:06:28
- Derek Lammie on behalf of Lisa and Peter Hughes — 1:07:56
- Michael Bryck — 1:09:19
- Sue Davies — 1:12:49
- Glenda Eddy — 1:14:46
- Virginia Thompson — 1:16:57
- David Evans — 1:19:30
- Charles Haege — 1:24:54
- Gary Graf — 1:25:40
- Ashton Thibeault — 1:28:20
- Gordon Murray — 1:33:57
- Derek Lammie on behalf of Tina Miertsch — 1:34:51
- James Saunders — 1:42:48
- Dennis Kelly — 1:44:16
- Sue Davies — 1:47:08
- Dylan Maltby — 1:48:11
- Elmer Shoji — 1:50:30
- Rick Reynolds — 1:51:34
- Ingrid Boaz — 1:53:20
- Stuart Andrews — 1:55:15
- Toria Long — 1:55:57
- Janet Delesalle — 1:57:13
- Toria Long — 1:58:21
- Jason MacPherson — 1:59:25
- Dennis Kelly — 2:00:17
Council also received a number of written comments including letters, e-mails and petitions regarding this project. Please click here to read those.
Council closed the hearing at the 2:02:01-mark of the recording and then voted to approve a Comprehensive Development Bylaw for the project.
“We need housing in this community,” said Councillor Connie Brothers. “It is very important that we think abut development and housing.”
She understands the anxiety some people feel with regard to this project but suggested that overall it is in the community interest. Other Councillors agreed.
“We are long overdue,” said Councillor Aaron Orlando.
Council was unanimous in its approval to amend Zoning Bylaw No 1264, and make it a Comprehensive Development Zone.
Please activate the YouTube player below to watch the Public Hearing.