With the possibility of being slapped with an $81,600 charge for a shortage of parking spaces, Mark McKee has shut down his new development at 415 2nd Street West.
City council approved a development permit for the proposed commercial building with the stipulation the developer either secure four more parking spaces within 300 metres of the development, or pay cash-in-lieu for the deficiency at a price of $20,400 each.
“We basically informed our architect and engineers that are working on the project to stop working while we decide what our next move is,” McKee said.
|An overhead look of the proposed building at 415 2nd St. W. (City of Revelstoke)|
The commercial development was to be located in the empty lot next to the Trading Post on 2nd Street West and provide a new home for the Revelstoke Veterinary Clinic.
It featured 335 square metres of commercial space, four covered parking spaces at the rear of the building and a natural red-brick exterior finish.
For both businesses on site, the owner is required to provide 14 parking stalls, which council varied to 13.
The zoning bylaw requires one parking stall per 50 square metres of gross floor area for retail stores and personal service establishments in the C2 district.
For projects short on required parking spaces, developers can either pay cash-in-lieu or secure additional parking off-site.
The cash-in-lieu goes into the city’s capital reserve fund for the creation and implementation of a parking management plan.
At the end of 2019 there was $240,000 set aside for the purposes of parking and alternative transportation, said Tania McCabe, director of finance for the city, in an email. The most recent payment to the fund was $60,000 for the Tantrum building on 1st St.
“We were getting ready to go as fast as possible and that has all come to a stop,” McKee said.
There was extensive discussion among councillors about the parking woes of the project, with Couns. Cody Younker and Rob Elliott voting against the development permit’s approval.
They didn’t agree with the parking charges in lieu trade-off, although both voiced support of the development itself.
However, Couns. Nicole Cherlet and Jackie Rhind, voted in favour of issuing the permit, with Mayor Gary Sulz breaking the tie in favour.
“If we don’t fund a parking strategy, whether it is through this or other applicants, than we are deficient in making sure we have resources to deal with parking as an issue,” said the mayor.
City staff received 14 letters voicing opposition to the development and three in support, however, both Sulz and Younker claimed to have heard from several people who had changed their minds.
A form letter circulated and submitted by multiple people in the area claims roads in the neighbourhood are already busy due to members of a gym down the street, as well as staff and customers of Battersby Plumbing, Chronometer, Integrated Apparel and the Trading Post parking on the street.
McKee also submitted a letter for consideration explaining the design for the project had already been modified from a three-storey mixed-used building to a one-storey commercial building.
“Our intent is to construct a building that will: enhance, yet not be overpowering to, the neighbourhood, be a positive addition to the downtown revitalization business core, be a long term home for one of Revelstoke’s premier businesses,” the letter reads.
McKee called for the parking bylaw to be updated as the city moves towards a pedestrian rather than a vehicle focus, adding that meeting the current bylaw has proven difficult for new downtown, infill developments.
Council also approved a variance permit for the project decreasing loading zone requirements, the rear-yard setback and parking spaces from 14 to 13.
The city will also enter into an encroachment agreement with the developer to allow for proposed canopy covers over the sidewalk.
Correction notice: The chart embedded in this story previously stated that Banff’s parking-in-lieu rate is $75,000, however, that rate is for apartment rental housing, their commercial rate is $21,000 per parking stall.