The applicant for a rezoning to accommodate a home on Agricultural Land Reserve property at 3220 20th Ave. SE, near the airport and landfill in Salmon Arm, is requesting the city waive the requirements for a fire hydrant and for bike lanes on 20th Avenue and on Auto Road SE. (City of Salmon Arm image)

Request to bypass bike lanes along property by Salmon Arm airport gets partial approval

City’s planning meeting looks at bike lanes on Auto Road and 20th Avenue SE

A request for variances involving bike lanes in Salmon Arm received partial preliminary approval from the city’s development and planning committee.

Applicant Ken Christensen told council members on April 6 the plan is to build a residence for his parents on the otherwise empty land near the landfill and the airport, with the intention to continue farming hay fields there.

The property is approximately 7.66 hectares in size and has significant frontage, according to a staff report, about 420 metres along 20th Avenue SE and 220 metres along Auto Road SE.

Christensen asked that the requirement for bike lanes along 20th Avenue SE and Auto Road SE be waived, along with the requirement for a fire hydrant along the Auto Road frontage.

Cost of a 1.5-metre bike lane along 20th Avenue was estimated at $85,000, the cost of widening a 1.5-m bike lane to two metres along the Auto Road frontage would be $47,000, and a fire hydrant along Auto Road was estimated at $15,000.

Christensen said there are already two existing fire hydrants on the property and the house will be between them.

Read more: Salmon Arm councillors examine dangerous bike routes

Read more: Plans rolling along for Silver Creek bike trail

A city staff report, however, pointed out council did not support a similar request to waive a fire hydrant“which was consistent with the Fire Department’s recommendation.”

The requests were then split into three separate motions so council could vote on them separately.

Council members voted unanimously to support waiving the requirement for bike lanes on 20th Avenue SE and a fire hydrant on the Auto Road frontage. As for the bike lane work on Auto Road SE, council members discussed how well used the road is by cyclists.

Coun. Tim Lavery suggested a 50 per cent cash contribution from the applicant for widening the lane instead of the full $47,000. The majority of council voted in favour, with Coun. Kevin Flynn opposed, saying he preferred the applicant pay the full amount given the city would already be waiving a substantial portion.

The development variance requests will go to the next regular meeting of council April 14.

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