A controversial proposed seniors housing complex in the Kelly Road area is one step closer to getting city council approval, after a vote on Monday night.
City council unanimously approved the first two readings of a rezoning bylaw to allow the development of up to 82 units of duplex, triplex and fourplex-style rental housing for seniors at 7215 and 7163 Kelly Road. A vote on the final reading of the rezoning bylaw will be withheld until the city receives a servicing brief from the developer showing that the water, sewer and other utility services can support the increased demand. In addition, the developer will be required to register a restrictive covenant on the property prohibiting apartment development on the site before final approval is considered by council.
Currently the lots are primarily a strip of undeveloped, treed greenspace between Gray Drive and Handlen Road, with access from Kelly Road South and Heather Park Road across from Ecole Heather Park Elementary.
A public consultation process conducted by the developer prior to council’s vote on Monday generated a petition in opposition with more than 50 names, as well as three written letters, eight phone calls and 11 emails – the majority in opposition to the proposal (see story).
“In short, the apartment housing was identified as a concern… and that’s why the developer offered to register the restrictive covenant,” city director of planning and development Deanna Wasnik said on Monday.
An increase in traffic onto Heather Park Road near the elementary school was another concern identified by those who submitted their concerns to the developer. However, a traffic analysis conducted by consultants L&M Engineering estimated the seniors housing would only increase traffic by an average of 16 vehicles per hour during the morning rush, and by 19 vehicles per hour during the evening rush.
Based on that information, Wasnik said neither the city or the Ministry of Transportation require any additional traffic analysis to be done.
“I think this is another important development for the Hart Highway,” Coun. Brian Skakun said. “The more people who move out there, the more investment, the more critical services that are going to be there. Businesses are going to follow the people who are going to move out there.”