A public hearing regarding the rezoning of a property in Brandon’s southwest corner gave Kingsway Kort residents another opportunity to share their concerns with city councillors Monday night.
John Kitchen, an applicant on behalf of the owner Kitsilano Laneway Housing Ltd., applied to rezone 1640 Sycamore Dr. and 21 Willowcrest Ave. from a commercial arterial zone to a residential high-density multiple family zone.
This would allow for the development of four 100-unit apartment buildings and 10 four-unit townhouses, totaling 440 dwelling units. The proposed project includes an amenities building and sales office.
Included in the property is Kingsway Kort and vacant land at 21 Willowcrest Ave.
Kingsway Trailer Kort developer Aaron Dubois of Brandon Evergreen Developments told councillors they have backup plans if the rezoning of the property doesn’t go through, but said "Kingsway is closing regardless."
Last summer, Brandon Evergreen Developments announced their plans for the proposed development.
Residents were told to move by March 31, 2014, (or June 30, 2014, for those with school-aged children). That deadline was later extended to Dec. 31, 2014, for those who agreed to sign compensation packages.
Forty-two residents have accepted compensation packages and have either moved out or are expected to move out.
But residents were given even more time after the Residential Tenancies Branch ruled that the termination of tenancy notices handed to residents is invalid. News of the void termination notice took the form of an order issued by the Residential Tenancies Branch on Dec. 30.
Kingsway Kort Ltd. or its representatives have until Jan. 20 to file a Notice of Appeal.
Ten Kingsway residents spoke in opposition of rezoning the property during Monday’s city council meeting and no one came forward to speak in favour of it.
Some residents said they worry how rezoning the property could cause traffic problems in the area, while several others echoed concerns regarding Brandon’s lack of low-income housing.
"These are not going to be low rental housing, these are going to be higher rental," Kingsway Kort homeowner Lisa Halter said. "We need all levels of types of people, incomes and housing to support a whole city."
Daniel Burns, of Burns Maendel Consulting Engineers Ltd. also made a brief presentation to councillors about the proposed development.
He said he’s been retained by Evergreen Developments to help with the rezoning of the property, development and overall final design of the project.
He told councillors the project is "well suited for this area."
"It’s a good fit for the site," he said.
When asked how long it would take to complete the development, Burns said it would be based on market conditions.
"We’ll start on the south side and work towards the north."
The rezoning will now be brought forward to council for a third reading. The rezoning could be on the agenda at council’s next meeting on Jan. 20.