CPR Hill development approved despite neighbours concerns

Proposed medium-density housing development designed to mimic the look of old Revelstoke train station approved by council.

A conceptual drawing of Rob & Harry Elliot's proposed CPR Hill development.

A proposed medium-density housing development designed to mimic the look of the old Revelstoke train station was given the go-ahead by council last week.

Rob & Harry Elliot’s proposal to build up to 10 housing units on a property on Mackenzie Avenue between Track Street and Mulock Street was adopted, but not before council heard numerous concerns from neighbours.

A public hearing on the proposed development was held on Tuesday, July 12. Several residents expressed concerns about the proposal, saying they were worried about traffic, snow removal, garbage collection and drainage issues.

“The zoning change concerns me greatly,” said Peter Cameron, who expressed concerns about access due to the steep nature of the street, drainage problems on the site, and the potential addition of rental housing to the neighbourhood.

“We don’t want or need any more rental housing in our neighbourhood,” he said.

Rose Gentles, who lives on Mulock Street, said she was worried about increased traffic. “Adding these rental units is going to increase traffic so I will not feel safe to take my children on the street,” she said.

Rob Elliott attempted to address those concerns, saying he was proposing a residential development, and not vacation rentals. He said it was going to be a strata property, meaning people would be able to buy the individual units, and that it would be their responsibility to ensure there were no problems with garbage or snow removal.

“I want to make an impression. I want to make it a statement of welcome to Revelstoke,” he said.

Dean Strachan, the city’s manager of development services, said many of the issues would be dealt with in the development permit process. He said the development would need private garbage and recycling collection, and would need to show how it would address parking, snow clearing and drainage issues. “All those components would come to council,” he said.

When it came to vote, council appeared split, with Mayor Mark McKee saying he thought there was too many units on the site and that it should be pared back.

“I think we should go back to the table, sit down with the proponent and see if a different number would meet his expectations and listen to what the neighbourhood has to say,” he said.

Councillors Connie Brothers and Gary Sulz also suggested looking at fewer units.

Speaking in favour were couns. Aaron Orlando, Scott Duke and Linda Nixon.

“We need the density downtown. We need to allow infill development,” said Duke.

Coun. Trevor English added his vote to the three in favour, meaning the re-zoning was approved.