Kamloops council has given the green light to a new five-storey apartment building in Valleyview.
Gill’s Dream Enterprise Ltd. plans to build a 50-unit apartment building at 1693 East Trans-Canada Hwy., which is along the frontage road between Burger King and the Brick.
The property is proposed to be rezoned from C3 (highway commercial) to C6 (arterial commercial).
During a public hearing on Tuesday night (Sept. 20), council heard about traffic concerns plaguing the area and concern that an additional 50 apartment units — and the vehicles that would come with them — would only add to area congestion.
Coun. Dale Bass said that while she knows the city needs housing, she considers nearby Vicars Road to be the slowest and most dangerous intersection in the city. She said it worries her, in terms of traffic.
The city’s transportation manager, Purvez Irani, however said the additional housing is not expected to have a significant impact on area traffic. He said the building is expected to generate about 20 vehicular trips in the morning and 25 trips in the evening, which are considered peak times.
Mayor Ken Christian said he drives the area every day and conceded traffic at times has been “horrendous,” but noted the problem is not the responsibility of the developer.
Christian said the city has been speaking with the Ministry of Transportation about the Valleyview corridor, noting a review is underway. He said council also spoke to the Transportation Minister Rob Fleming at last week’s Union of BC Municipalities conference in Whistler.
Coun. Mike O’Reilly noted a hotel could be built on the property, but said the city needs rental housing, which is why he supports the project. Coun. Sadie Hunter said the property was previously home to a gas station, adding she would rather see more housing than another gas station, which she said would also generate traffic.
“Anything that goes there is going to generate traffic trips,” Hunter said. “But what we definitely do need is more housing in our community.”
Council voted to read the zoning amendment bylaw for the third time. It will now be held at third reading, pending registration of a right-of-way, a covenant limiting use of the property to the proposed 50-unit building and approval by the Ministry of Transportation.
Council will then be required to adopt the bylaw.