David Evans has spent 18 months and more than $500,000 on the development permitting process for phase 2 and 3 of Mackenzie Village.
The developer expressed his frustration at the elongated timeline during a delegation to city council on Tuesday afternoon and asked that council make a motion to see his development permit at the beginning of February.
“We have lost the ability to market the project this season and we are fast approaching the cut off to line up contractors for the next building season and further delay will result in the loss of another building season,” he said.
Evans said city staff has accused them of being difficult and submitting unanticipated changes in the application. He claims to have willingly commissioned all reports and made all changes that city staff required.
“Each time staff asked for additional information or expressed concerns with our application, we have submitted information and revisions to address those concerns,” he said.
Evans also disputed the new requirement that the property be rezoned before the development permit can be issued, claiming the proposed development is compliant with both the zoning bylaw as well as the Master Development Agreement.
|A rendering of the proposed Phase 2-3 of Mackenzie Village that was presented to the Advisory Planning Commission in September.|
“By continuing to delay our application and refusing to place our application before council unless our property is rezoned, a process that is at the complete discretion of council, city staff are effectively eliminating our right to have our application considered by council, contrary to the local government act and bylaw 2097,” Evans said.
Mayor Gary Sulz opted not to respond to the allegations of staff unfairness.
“I think I could refute some of your statements, but part of a delegation is to listen to what you have to say and not really comment,” he said.
However, he did express support for the project and his faith in the city staff.
“This council, and council of the past, are quite supportive in moving your project forward, but we have some legal issues, and the legal issues we can not deal with anything unless it is complete,” he said.
Chief administrative officer, Allan Chabot, also defended his staff.
“We understand where the community is and we are not making any attempts to withhold or hold back or change the goal posts on this applicant or this application,” he said. “This is an important project for this community. We are trying to move it forward with the applicable zoning and in accordance with the master development agreement.”
Chabot said that the application is incomplete and that is why it has not yet been brought to the council table.
Following the meeting, city staff supplied a list of the current outstanding items for the project. He noted however that these items could changed based on future submissions from the applicant.
- Alignment with the requirements identified in the Master Development Agreement (MDA) which was registered against the property as part of the initial 2016 approval and rezoning process
- Given that the proposed Phases 2 and 3 are significantly larger than what is identified in the MDA, an amendment to the MDA will clarify and give the public a chance to comment on the changes (through public notification and a public hearing)
- Discharge or modification of ‘no-build’ covenants registered against the property and submission of revised legal documents
- Council consideration of a Development Permit respecting the form and character of the proposed development, including complete architectural and landscaping plans
- Council consideration of a Development Variance Permit to address aspects of non-compliance with the subject property’s zoning for the project as it is proposed
- Completion of a subdivision in compliance with the MDA
- Approval of a Works and Services agreement in compliance with the MDA, including providing bonding amounts for civil works
- Submission and completion of a building permit application in accordance with the BC Building Code and the City’s submission standards
Mackenzie Village was first proposed in 2015. The multifamily, high density development, on a 35-acre property was the biggest proposed development in town since the resort opened. Phase 1 of the development was approved by city council in 2016 after the property was rezoned to a Comprehensive Development Zone.
The first 46 units of the development were constructed in 2017.
According to Evans, he first submitted the application for Phase 2-3 of the development in September 2017 and, based on requirements from city staff, submitted a revised application in February 2018. The final subdivision layout was submitted in June and the project was before the Advisory Planning Commission on Sept. 20, 2018.
The report submitted from Sturgeon to the commission in September describes Phase 2-3 as four four-storey buildings which include ground floor commercial space and three storeys of apartments. There are 19 retail units and 114 residential apartments varying in size from bachelor to three bedroom.
There is both surface parking for access to the businesses and 96 underground parking spaces for the residential complex.
The commission supported the application but requested that the contrasting colour scheme be revisited as it did not compliment the existing phase 1 and to ensure noise buffers are used.
Evans said he adjusted the plans based on these recommendations, however, the process has stalled since then.
“I honestly think you’ve got about three months more of our time and then we will be withdrawing the project,” he said.
Sulz recommended that Evans meet with Marianne Wade, the city’s new director of development. He denied Evans’ request to put the development permit application on the agenda for any meetings in February, saying he didn’t want to handcuff staff and council.