REPORTING · 28th May 2013
PUBLIC CONSULTATION TONIGHT
The PTI is going through the regular process at Kitimat City Council. On Tuesday, May 21st, the change to the OCP, in the form of a bylaw came before Council. Councillor Rob Goffinet made a motion to approve the amendments to the PTI Dormitory OCP and zoning amendment bylaw #1 and they receive second reading.
Administration was asking Council to agree to specific changes which were made to the bylaw and presented to them in the form of a spreadsheet in their Council Package. Goffinet’s motion was to vote on all of them, although Councillor Mario Feldhoff was told the Council could divide them up, which he did, with some Difficulty. Mayor Joanne Monaghan asked Council if there was any they disagreed with.
Councillor Phil Germuth confirmed there was a third reading where things could be changed. He was told there was.
Goffinet said there was time to discuss and fine tune the changes after the public hearing and during the third reading.
Germuth stated the project has been promoted as a project which would benefit the Kitimat Businesses. However, the way the parking had been planned for the project, he could not see how they were going to do this.
“There is 421 parking spots, and lets say they have 200 employees, I know it says here they may choose to ride transit or bike to work but then they may not, they may drive to work. That puts you down 200 spaces. The busses will take up 100 spaces which leaves you 121 parking spaces for 2100 workers. If we have this temporary workforce here, I think we’re much better off letting them bus to their workplace but after hours, if we want to benefit our community, neighbouring communities, the workers after work who may want to throw a rod into the pickup and go down to the river and fish, what if they want to go golfing up to the golf course, if they want to bring their ATV or their dirt bike and enjoy the beautiful nature we have here or even in the winter if they bring their ski and snowboard and want to go to Terrace for the day. By only allowing 100 parking spaces for 2000 people, I think we’re doing a disservice to the business community and much of the neighbouring communities who could profit from this temporary worker boom,” said Germuth.
Administration replied this was a request of the proponent who wished to reduce the carbon footprint. However, City Planner Gwen Sewell stated the proponent wanted less parking spaces at first.
“This is not a drive in drive out work camp, they expect the workers to arrive at the airport, get picked up by bus, and rely on bus transportation and shuttle bus transportation in town to pick up their employees in opposed to having employees arrive at the camp,” said Sewell.
Feldhoff expressed he had the same concerns, pointing out that workers from BC and Alberta who choose to drive in have adequate parking. He added there was talk about parts of the facility being open to the community and he wanted to ensure there was sufficient parking. He added they do want to reduce the carbon footprint.
Sewell stated they agreed to 2 parking stalls for every ten rooms, although the proponent has not taken the time to comment on it yet. Concerns were expressed about congestion of traffic during certain times, however, Sewell stated the PTI Camp would be a 24/7 camp and expected there would be a night shift.
Feldhoff expressed concerns about the camps promise to hire local residents. He asked if there was anything in the drafted bylaw to prevent them from flying in workers, having them stay at the camp and then flying them back out. He was told they have not addressed it specifically but there is the potential for crafting language for that in the housing portion of the bylaw.
“I’m still not happy with how we’re doing this,” said Germuth. “When PTI first came to town, and they were going across the bridge, they were looking for appropriate land being manufacturing. I don’t think we’re instilling any trust in the people who want to come here and zone land when we’re taking something that should be in a manufacturing zone and calling it something else so we can put it in a residential zone. I think there is a way through the temporary use permit where we can call it what it is, zone it for what it is and having that land revert back after they are gone, revert back to residential.”
Councillor Mary Murphy told Germuth they gave staff clear instruction to open up zoning to make it acceptable to rezone a piece of land according to the plans of a proponent. District of Kitimat administration is following those directions and this is what they are doing now. Murphy stated PTI has been advertising jobs in Kitimat on their website.
Feldhoff expected the dormitory zoning for PTI would revert back after 20 years, or they decide to leave the community. He stated they would not be in Kitimat forever. Sewell told Feldhoff PTI was proposing to be in Kitimat for a 20 year term, after which, the land would revert back to multifamily zone. She stated Kitimat lost a multifamily zone next to the site which would be used for the recreation of the PTI camp.
Germuth pointed out there were residents who were concerned and added things do not always work out as planned. He wanted the option to put a five year renewal on the project so if things do not work out, the community has the ability to say no. It also put’s pressure on the proponent to make certain things are run properly and there are not negative effects on the neighbourhood.
Feldhoff replied by saying PTI has provided renderings and drawings which were improvements over their office in Alberta.
Germuth stated PTI will not be a multifamily property because people will be unable to have families in this place. There are people who bought properties because it was multifamily, low to medium density, and what is going in there is the highest possible density development which can go in the area.
He was told this is why they are going through the consultation period and even the project which was brought to Council, Crossroads, would require rezoning.
“Like the OCP, zoning is not necessarily static, it is responsive to what the community wants to see happen,” said Sewell.
The motion was called and carried. The District of Kitimat is holding a public hearing Tonight, Tuesday May 28th at Riverlodge at 7:00 pm.
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 28th May 2013
The only thing that may change is the amount of parking spots, but this is going through no matter what. It is all smoke and mirrors. Consulation my ass.