Several local citizens have written to council expressing their concerns about the proposed rental building at Brackendale general store.
The council decides on a development permit today at a 6 pm meeting.
Parking, traffic and a building out of character with the neighbourhood are among several concerns raised by citizens in scores of letters to the district.
Della and Keith Halvorson, Ginger Blum and Matt Harris, Kelly and Stephen Fryer, Kathy Kennedy and Clint Gilbank, and Amanda Bagliore also launched a petition in April that garnered over 400 signatures.
“I am concerned about the traffic increase this may implement in an already high traffic school zone as well as lack of parking space as Government Road has only bike lanes and no street parking nor sidewalk,” said Anna Kirman.
Brackendale resident Norm Halverson, expressed concerns about the impact of combining the visitor parking with commercial parking.
“There are just not enough spaces for the amount of apartments. Parking will then spill up and down Government road and on Cottonwood Road, impacting not only the coziness of our neighbourhood but the safety of those that can walk or bike in our area,” he said.
He is also worried about the environmental impact on the salmon-bearing Cottonwood Creek.
Brackendale resident Dorte Froslev said the proposed development was not at all appropriate for the neighbourhood.
“Aside from the buildings (per the renderings) being the ugliest one could possibly imagine, 30 units in that area would negatively transform the community feel and increase traffic on a major school route,” she said.
Local Bob Brant said it seemed like Planning and the District were giving parking variances like “candy” and not considering residents first.
“I would like to see an immediate moratorium on all development parking variances. And, to be specific, I am opposed to any parking variances for this project,” Brant said.
Rachel Shephard urged the council to turn down the parking variance as it would contravene the Zoning Bylaw and increase parking issues.
“The proponent has not shown that peak parking demand for visitor/commercial spaces will occur at different times of day, as required by the Zoning Bylaw,” she wrote.
“I am disappointed that the proponent and planning department persist in ignoring the neighbours’ protests to this project and all multi-density projects in the DOS,” said Deb McBride.
However, Chris Brook, the owner of The Crabapple Café, expressed his support for the development.
“I would like to offer my support for the development plans that are currently being processed for and around the location of The Crabapple Cafe. If approved I believe it will have a very positive impact on both the surrounding area and The Crabapple Café,” he said.
Emily and Tim, the owners of Counterpart Coffee, also expressed their support.
“Based on the renderings, it seems like the developer has made the effort to create some density, while also trying to fit the feel of the neighbourhood. It would create a nice hub at the north end of town. In a town where it seems like the loudest voices and opinions are the ones arguing against development and density, we thought we’d be vocal about the projects we feel are thoughtful and the ones we’d like to see come to fruition,” they wrote.