Peace River council considers request to aid development

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

Peace River town council held a public hearing on May 8 to see if there were any concerns with a proposed development in the community.

Council received an application from a developer to amend the Municipal Development Plan and the Land Use Bylaw to develop Plan 3115HW, Lot 11, with a proposed mix of commercial and residential use.

“A developer has approached the Town to build a residential apartment and other commercial buildings on lots that are in the commercial area on the West Hill,” says Mayor Elaine Manzer.

“To possibly allow this mixed-use development, the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) would need to be amended. This included new policy directions which would enable the Town to consider the possible land use changes on commercial lands by changing the districts from Commercial to a Direct Control District. Developers could then ask the Town to consider redistricting changes on specific areas within the commercial districts.”

The application was submitted by Doopin Industries Inc. on behalf of the landowner on Jan. 18. The application asked for the two documents to be changed so the property could be developed. Because of the application, Peace River staff have begun drafting the bylaw amendments so the Town could consider and approve the development.

“The proposed MDP amendments include policy additions that would enable the Town to consider mixed use development applications that include residential uses on lands within the commercial policy area of Future Land Use Concept,” explains Manzer.

“Other policy change sets out criteria that the Town would need to consider such as whether the mixed-use development of the site would limit or inhibit future non-residential development on that site as well as considerations about the quality of residential life the development. Another policy change would change the district from Commercial to Direct Control under the LUB.”

Manzer explains council wants to encourage development and is considering requests of all varieties to allow new types of development in areas that previously didn’t include certain types of development.

“We have not had any concerns from the public as this point nor during the hearing,” Manzer says. “This development on the West Hill would allow more opportunities for some residents to live closer to their places of work, encourage development density, create more activity in the area for a greater portion of the day, supports the efficient use of infrastructure and opens more potential sites where the Town can consider larger residential development.”

The bylaw amendment passed second and third readings, and therefore was approved by town council.

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