Spruce Street Project Takes Heat, Project Denied
Prince George, B.C.- A proposal to rezone a lot on Spruce Street has raised the hackles of residents in the neighbourhood, and Council heard their concerns.
The applicant wanted to rezone just under one hectare of land that is wedged in between Spruce street on the west, Van Bien to the east and highway 97 to the north. The project called for the development of a mix of residential units, including single family, duplex and town houses, up to a maximum of 23 housing units in all.
That level of density didn’t sit well with the neighbours, or with some members of council.
Residents are concerned the development will add to traffic and parking problems in their neighbourhood. They also expressed concern over the loss of greenspace.
Project developers wanted to put some rumours to rest, saying this is not a low income housing project “It was never our intent to build such a development” said Darren Porsnuk. He said the units would sell for about $350 thousand dollars each, and is aimed at snowbirds and double income earners.
But area residents say the design of the project does not match the form and character of the existing neighbourhood which has large lots with single family homes. They raised concerns about increased traffic on area roads, which are already seeing plenty of traffic and plenty of vehicles parking on the street.
Councillor Brian Skakun said he could not support the rezoning noting the traffic concerns “Trying to stuff this in, is just going to make a bad problem worse.”
Councillor Scott also spoke against the project saying “It is a great idea, but it’s in the wrong place.
Councillor Frank Everitt also opposed the application, as did Mayor Lyn Hall. “I certainly am a strong supporter of development in our community”, said Mayor Hall but added there are instances that come forward where he has to take a long hard look at what is being presented, and this was one of those cases “In light of what I’m hearing tonight, specifically around the densification, that’s a piece for me in this particular neighbourhood that I need to question.” Mayor Hall says while increased density makes sense in other locations, “In this particular neighbourhood, I have a real concern.”