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Powell River city council approves zoning amendment for affordable housing complex in Cranberry

Bylaw change will allow for rental facility
NEW DEVELOPMENT: City council has approved rezoning of a parcel of land on Cranberry Street, between Dieppe Crescent and Ortona Avenue, which provides for a 24-unit affordable housing complex.

City of Powell River council has approved an amendment to the city’s zoning bylaw to help pave the way for construction of a rental housing facility in Cranberry.

At the April 15 city council meeting, councillors approved rezoning of the subject property from RM3 medium density multiple family residential to CD6 Cranberry Place multi-family development. Under the rezoning, a total of 24 dwelling units are permitted on the property, which is a joint development between Life Cycle Housing Society and BC Housing.

Mayor Dave Formosa said this is a happy day and a happy project because the zoning bylaw amendment applied to housing for people who need it and have a little bit of a tighter budget.

“We are very thankful; this is something council has been working on to see for many years,” said Formosa. “Councillor [Maggie] Hathaway has been our lead advocate, and followed up by help from councillor [CaroleAnn] Leishman, and councillors [Cindy] Elliott and [Rob] Southcott as well. We have everybody pushing in that same direction.”

Southcott said this zoning amendment from an RM3 to a new CD6 zone provides for greater flexibility and appropriate land use management with very long vision in mind.

“This particular one is particularly exciting,” said Southcott.

He said there are still a couple of requirements that are expected to be fulfilled quickly without any trouble. These include road dedications and ensuring units are solar-ready and electric-vehicle ready as part of the initial construction.

Hathaway said this is a great project and gave thanks to Francis Ladret and the Life Cycle Housing Society Board members who have worked on this project for years. Hathaway said the development will provide affordable housing in one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

“It’s exactly what we are needing in this community,” said Hathaway. “It’s a walkable location in Cranberry and it’s helping to develop Cranberry. Everything is right there. It’s a great project and I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

Elliott said this development is in her neighbourhood and she is looking forward to watching it get built and meeting her new neighbours.

“I’m in favour of this kind of housing,” said Elliott. “We need housing like this for young families who require affordable housing. This will be for people of all ages and some units will be designed for children.”

Hathaway said all of the residents who are currently in the Life Cycle Housing residences in the Cranberry location where the new facility will be built are being placed in other homes while the old units are removed and replaced by the new development.

“Life Cycle is doing a great job and we’re appreciative,” said Hathaway.

According to a staff report from director of planning services Jason Gow, the city had received an application to rezone lands in the Cranberry neighbourhood along Cranberry Street between Dieppe Crescent and an undeveloped portion of Ortona Avenue. Gow stated the subject lands are nine parcels, eight of which are owned by Life Cycle and one by BC Housing. The parcels, when amalgamated, will be about an acre in size.

The Life Cycle Society lands currently have eight small single-family dwellings, which will be demolished to make way for a 24-unit affordable rental housing project with one, two and three-bedroom dwellings.