REPORTING · 4th March 2011
Alannah Silver took the stand on Monday, February 21st to address Council. Her goal is opening a home business, a Yoga Studio at 45 Meldrum. She appeared before Council earlier this year and they sent it to the Advisory Planning Commission for a recommendation.
“Unfortunately, this matter has now taken on a life of it’s own and I believe I am being singled out as a means to address all current and future home businesses in Kitimat,” said Silver on the 21st.
She stated she decided to make a career out of her passions and find a space to rent. However, a majority of the spaces in the community asked for too much money, some times in the $1,000 or did not have the temperature required for Hot Yoga, an exercise which requires 105 degree rooms.
She expressed she would not wish to operate her yoga studio from her home forever. It would give her time to build her clients while searching for a place. She added she has been to multiple meetings since applying and has decided these boards have already made up their minds.
Two anonymous letters were submitted to the planning commission. The First stated there are two many cars parked on Meldrum Street and the blower got stopped for 15 minutes while people helped move and push multiple cars. The second letter says she always has cars parked outside her home and has a trailer which reduces the street to one way traffic. It recommended having clients park their cars at the Child Development Centre Parking Lot.
Silver stated the first was about cars blocking the snowplough on their street. She replied this took place further down on her street on an evening when she had no classes running. She added her husband, herself and their company went to help the lady who was stuck and this did not have anything to do with Yoga.
As for the second, she has found a place to store her trailer away from her home and their neighbours have people over often. When she has classes, she tells them to park in her driveway. She and her husband move their vehicles to the Child Development Centre Parking Lot prior to Yoga.
In addition to what is written above, the Planning Commission minutes state Silver has been having Yoga gatherings at her house since October 2010 with friends. Her friends are asked to walk, bike or carpool when necessary. Their Driveway can accommodate 6 vehicles and this is where drivers are instructed to park. The minutes do not delve too deeply into what was discussed during the discussions other then zoning, land uses and the issues surrounding TECUPs.
Finally, she addressed phone calls received by the district anonymously. These phone calls requested Council to stop handing out home business licenses. “If they really have a valid reason, why would they want to be hidden. Is it because they have their own business and don’t want to give their customers the option of choice?” said Silver.
She handed Council a petition signed by over 100 people. “This process has been very stressful since December when I applied for the license. I can understand why people go to Terrace to open businesses. I am not here to discuss rezoning of Kitimat or the rent issue, although I truly believe this needs to be discussed. I am here to discuss my personal application and want to take one step closer to opening my vision of opening my home studio,” said Silver.
Mayor Joanne Monaghan stated she did not receive 1 phone call. She went through the minutes from the planning department. She read the recommendation: To provide a TECUP for one year.
Councillor Rob Goffinet made sure she had looked at both private and public space. Silver replied it was the heat or the rent, which could be thousands of dollars on top of renovations. The rental spaces are either derelict or devoid of walls.
Under reports, the TECUP returned to Council. Councillor Mario Feldhoff moved to give the TECUP one year. Councillor Halyk wanted to know if this was the typical length of time, it was a shorter amount then usual. Halyk amended it to a two year duration. The amendment was carried.
Councillor Bob Corless said this is what the TECUP was designed for, the incubation of business. The motion was called and carried.