Neighbours have expressed concerns about the development proposed for 70 and 210 11th St. SE, a 3.9 hectare parcel just south of Okanagan Avenue, which could see up to 120 multi-family residential units if zoned from R1, single family residential, to R4, medium density residential. (City of Salmon Arm image)

Neighbours raise concerns about proposed housing development in Salmon Arm

Objections to 11th Street SE plans include increased traffic, diversion of creek, loss of greenspace

Plans for an active-living-for-seniors housing development on 11th Street SE have prompted concerns from neighbours.

Applicant Gary Arsenault is applying for rezoning on behalf of a B.C. numbered company to build on 3.9 hectares or 9.6 acres just south of Okanagan Avenue E on two adjoining parcels, 70 11th St. SE and 200 11th St. SE.

The proposed R4, medium density residential zone, would accommodate up to 120 units. The properties are designated ‘high density residential’ in the official community plan.

Partnering in the project is the Vancouver Resource Society, which purchased Andover Terrace in April and also owns Shuswap Lodge.

Jan Naylor, who lives on neighbouring Fourth Avenue SE, said a petition will be presented to council, because neighbours don’t think this is the right site.

Read more: New ‘active living’ development in Salmon Arm planned for 65+ residents

Read more: Council to consider multi-housing development off Okanagan Avenue

Concerns include the stream that crosses the property, with plans to divert it and run it through pipes.

Naylor said it was diverted in 1994 when another development was built, something she doesn’t believe would have been permitted under today’s regulations.

“Previous to the diversion, the stream bed had water in it in the spring and seemed to go underground later in the year. It is now an established year-round stream for 26 years.”

Other objections for neighbours include a large increase in traffic in the hilly area, the loss of greenspace and its effects on wildlife who use it as a corridor, and the loss of the single-family neighbourhood and its sense of community.

Naylor said another concern raised is regarding COVID-19 and the lesson that housing people on a smaller footprint can be dangerous.

“As a neighbourhood, we are opposing the rezoning. We understand that the city wants infill. R4 is going to add far too many people and cars, and change the nature of the street. People bought homes here because of the rural feeling right in town,” she said.

She added that while the active living, aging-in-place concept proposed is a good one, the site is not a good fit.

Read more: Hearing on 11th Street SE residential development to be held in Salmon Arm rec centre

City planning staff have expressed support for the rezoning and sending the application to the development permit stage. The motion council is considering is described as more complicated than most.

“It was negotiated and agreed to by staff and the applicant on June 1, 2020. All of the issues and challenges with this land, the need to secure a new alignment for 4th Avenue SE, concerns with the creek and staff’s general expectations for development have been under discussion with the applicant since November 2019. Staff appreciates the cooperation by the applicant in the process. This is also an opportune time for the city to secure a much needed starting and end point of a future 4th Avenue connector that would benefit the southeast quadrant of the city…,” states the staff report.

The public hearing on the rezoning is set for 7 p.m., Monday, July 13, in the recreation centre on a limited, first-come, first-served basis due to COVID-19.

If you wish to appear electronically you’re asked to send your request to cityhall@salmonarm.ca. Instructions on how to participate will be provided. Electronic participation can be accommodated through computer with Internet access or telephone.

Written submissions can be dropped off at city hall in the drop box to the left of the main entrance or emailed to cityhall@salmonarm.ca.

They must be presented to the administration department no later than 10 a.m. on July 13.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
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