250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Rezoning Issue Sparks Call for Plan for River Valley

Thursday, May 12, 2016 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C.-The rezoning of a piece of property on Otway Road   was the subject of a public hearing that  took 10 hours and 39 minutes over three separate nights, and  45 minutes of  Council deliberation.  It was the longest public hearing anyone can remember. (see previous story)

A recurring concern  raised by the many  who spoke against the proposal to  have  the property rezoned  to light industrial,   was the need  to  preserve the Nechako River valley and enhance it  for the use of residents.

Mayor Lyn Hall  referred  to the  public hearing as “The thin edge of the wedge,   it creates other thoughts, it creates other ideas as we move forward as a Council and as a City.”

Mayor Hall says there is no question  the City  needs to  be proactive  in planning  for the Nechako  River Valley  “We need to take a look at what’s happening not only along the bank where  in fact you have    North Nechako residents and you have industry.  If we move down to the winery location,  that’s indicative  of what we can do on the  river front, you  go  to Cottonwood Island Park,   it’s much the same,  There are areas within our city  that we need to start to look at,  concentrate, bite the bullet on budgetary  requirements to meet the need and I  don’t like to use comparisons,  but I will in this case.   I look at the  City of Penticton, the City of Kelowna, the City of Kamlopps,  have done a very good job.  When you have a river, or a lake, or in our case two rivers going through our city  that  abounds with opportunity.”

Over the course of the three nights of the public hearing  residents  noted  the benefits of  green space and  lack of access to the river.  That  there are  opportunities for tourism   and well being of  residents   when they have  improved access to natural  areas.

It was  Councillor Terri McConnachie who pointed out that  there is a variety of uses  along Otway  Road,   industrial,  recreational,  and residential,  she referred to it as a “collision of  uses”.

Councillor  Garth Frizzell made the motion  that  staff bring back recommendations to the September 12th meeting “to initiate a long term  planning process for celebrating, preserving, protecting and enhancing Prince George’s river valleys”. The  motion was  unanimously appoved.

Councillor Albert Koehler  said he thought that work would be “complimentary to what we are doing and I think it’s a good approach.”

It is  thought this theme  can be included in the  “TalkTober” community consultations.



Red Deer and Lethbridge are two better examples of what could be done with river frontage. PG will never get to that stage though.

Maybe one day the Fort St James CN tracks will be extended to Vanderhoof and we can have the Nechako frontage back… But there are no plans for that.

    That would add a heck of a long time for the trains there Eagle. I’m not sure CN would ever go for such an idea…..

    But stranger things have happened…..

Once again the mayor and council dropped the ball by looking at the rezoning request “through a microscope” if you will. While it is fine for the area residents to go into detail about how the change will affect their daily home life– will a nasty welder’s fart waft across the river under the right conditions?– the elected officials should be looking from a broader perspective.

Massive fail on the part of the city planning department who exist in name only and is staffed by a bunch of under qualified and overpaid people. It is a major part of their job to look at these requests at arms length to see how it fits in the long term planning for the city. Instead all a proponent has to do is have certain people on retainer, it’s always the same people, and they will be guided through the process with nary a bump in the road. Meeting….meeting…meeting..Bob’s your uncle…bill’s in the mail.

The OCP was described as a living breathing document during the hearings but by the same token should not be changed by every whim and desire of every developer. Perhaps a series of questions should be answered before one is able to crack it’s cover. My suggestions:

1.Is the suitably zoned land available in the open market or in city land inventory and indentified as such in current OCP?
2.If answer to question 1. is yes proceed directly to question 1.

The other day there was a story on the news in regards to the 30th anniversary of Expo 86 that described how the lands used for the fair were once a huge polluted industrail wasteland that has now become one of the most desirable places to live in all of BC and still a model of how to properly redevelop a city center. So we are only a hundred or hundred and fifty years behind the curve in placing industry in some of the best locations the city has to offer.

Wonder if we could trade a couple of talking heads and a real estate agent for a city planner who has the education and experience to run our planning department?

Forget the idea of TalkTober..had it on the Hart ..yes I (Hall) will talk to the Ministry of Highways for proper lighting ..only he misunderstood the area ..it became Tyner Boulevard.. so the busiest highway north still lacks the proper lights! Those discussions is just a cover up for no action but he can say that taxpayers were involved.

The council talks long term planning for change then overrides the only long term planning done for this area. I have seen it time and again on many issues throughout the city.

Skakun was right, why develop the industrial park along Boundary Road with the infra structure deemed necessary industrial use, then roll over on request to re-zone land to compete with that industrial park?

When the Mayor asked Dave Dyer the question about the aquifer, he already knew the answer he was going to get. It was mere ruse. I am pretty sure he already knew how he was going to vote.

Frizzell has proposed the City undertake long term planning for the river corridor lands, it is hard not to be cynical.

This is not the worst land use decision the city has made. The proponents appear to run good businesses and appeared to have many employees in the gallery supporting their application. This says a lot about their businesses.

I support the comments of Sparrow in this matter, the problem lies with the City of Prince George administration and council. Every time they do this people become disillusioned.

Another example, good use of river frontage is Whitehorse.

What a waste of taxpayers dollars if this city thinks it can do anything for a “plan” with the lands along the rivers. The OCP is a piece of useless paper and so will the “plan” be.

Maybe the people opposed of the rezoning can look into what the Province might be able to do because without a higher level of power involved in a “plan” will not hold water.

This decision was disgusting and if we could leave this town we would. Been here my entire life and I thought I loved this city but this decision is so off the mark I don’t know how city council and the mayor sleep at night.

    If you are prepared to leave PG over a zoning issue of this magnitude then I say “See Ya!” PG is the best place to live. Super affordable housing, fairly stable work environment, transportation choices, the great outdoors, caring citizens etc. etc. Way more going right then going wrong.

I would like to know if council and mayor thought about the ones directly involved? The residents with homes that directly border the proponents property? The residents that not only hear the noise but now have to look out there back yard that directly borders on it. Did the city council think about what would happen to there property values? They don’t have a river that seperates them. You think the city will actually build a park beside an industrial zone? Let’s get realistic. Perhaps mayor hall and the others that voted for it have there back yards turned into an industrial zone. Why is cif’s equipment parked in the area designated to give to the city?

Lyn Hall is corrupt. I have never been so disillusioned in my life….I thought he was for Prince George, but he proved last night that he’s in bed with business owners. He makes me sick.

    SO you don’t like the decision so you start the “corruption” chant. It was 10 hours of both sides. It was long winded speeches by the opponents and some tense moments of frustration for the companies involved. I hear the noise from across the river and it’s not those 2 companies. It’s the train, the asphalt plant and the new recycling venture where the old mill used to be. Hall, or anyone else who voted in favour is corrupt. I can’t believe the latitude that was given some of the speakers who ranted on and on about the same stuff over and over again. I’d have given them 90 seconds to wrap it up and move on.

It’s like people who bitch about potholes then complain because the asphalt plant is making noise punching out asphalt to repair the roads. Industry pays the bills. The money paid to the employees is spent in this town. Industry used to rely on the rivers as a transportation mode. Look around the entire country and there is industry sitting right on the shores of rivers, lakes, streams and oceans across this great land. We could all hold hands and sing Kumbaya but that won’t put a roof over your head or food in your belly. Industry does that.

    Industry? … Thin again …. The trucks are not driven by industry. Neither are the products manufactured by industry, or sold by industry, or fixed by industry.

    There is more and more automation, but not yet 100%. All those processes are owned, operated, managed, and products sold by PEOPLE.

    PEOPLE demand them. Without them, there would be no industry whether it is supply and demand.

    It is PEOPLE we are talking about who want a more livable community. It is they who enable the businesses to exist, survive and improve. PEOPLE are both the creators of the businesses, owners of the business and physical as well as thinkers who enable the businesses.

    We are not only forgetting about the environment which supports both the inanimate industry and the PEOPLE who animate the industry but also the environment which supports the livelihood but also the livability of the PEOPLE.

    Then we have the PEOPLE who forget about that little fact.

PG1234 – ABSOLUTELY CORRECT on both posts.
Thank you for your reality check.

    Well it’s not that hard to figure out. Opponents talked at length about possibilities and not facts. What if this happens, what if that happens. I neither supported or opposed the re-zoning. There were positives and negatives. The process was followed and a decision made. That’s what’s important.

Comments for this article are closed.