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REPORTING · 4th September 2014
Walter McFarlane
A Multi-Family Development Permit Application for the North Star Inn came before Council on August 25th and September 3rd. Councillor Rob Goffinet looked at the two recommendations from staff and wanted to discuss it before making a motion.

A report to Council stated the applicant is applying to renovate the exterior of the North Star Inn during this building season. The siding will be coloured brownstone and the trim will be Ironstone. The concrete will be painted Ironstone. The interior is planned to be renovated during the 2015 and 2016 building period.

“This application does not meet the application requirements, applicant has stated that time restraints are responsible for the quality of application submitted,” wrote CAO Ron Poole in his report.

According to the report, the application was originally in March, but was put off by the applicant until August.

Council was given two recommendations, one was to proceed and the other to differ until the applicant gives them supporting documentation.

“If we proceed with any recommendation, are we going to put a time limit on assurance that we get the requirements for the application? Are we going to put this in front of, not only ourselves, but the APC?” asked Goffinet.

Goffinet stated this application was put off by the developer for six months only for the developer to tell them they did not have time to do the application properly. Council was told this is why they had the options they did, to proceed or to wait for the remaining documentation.

The explanation was the documentation was submitted in March along with a photo of one of the Kuldo Apartments. The District replied saying this would not meet their requirements as it would not show how it would apply to the two building at the North Star. They were asked to resubmit so neighbours and Council could know what was being proposed. The application was put on hold pending further drawings.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff asked if this would require a simple motion or if it would be a bylaw with several readings. He was told once it has gone to the APC and notice has been given to neighbours, after it has followed this process, they could pass it with a simple motion.

“One of our biggest pushes over the last year or 18 months has been to try and provide clear graphic imagery, particularly for neighbours who are consulting so it could be immediately apparent what is being proposed and there is no confusion later over what is being approved and what is not being approved,” said Daniel Martin from the Planning Department.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff made motion one, to forward to Advisory Planning Commission and give notice to neighbours. Goffinet expressed he was not in favour of one, he agreed with second option. He wanted the applicant to show what they are applying for.

Councillor Edwin Empinado stated he would prefer the complete application because it was explained to them. Councillor Phil Germuth was in favour because he felt the neighbours would like to see the North Star looking better than it does now.

“With a bit of imagination, you have a pretty good idea what it is going to look like after,” said Germuth.

Councillor Mary Murphy stated she was going to vote against the motion because the District has application requirements and staff is looking for those requirements.

“I don’t think it is too much of a requirement to fill in the gap with whatever they are going to fill it with and go through the proper procedure to do that. They’ve been working on it since March so with a little bit of help, they are going to get that proper process done and bring it before us so they can move forward properly,” said Murphy.

Empinado asked about tenants. He was told the staff does not know the current status. The developer started work in February at which point they were informed they needed a development permit.

Feldhoff pleaded with Council not to make this more difficult. If the APC needs more information, they will tell them. “Just about anything will be an improvement on what there is right now and I’m sure the developer will give some careful thought, it’s just hard to visualize without seeing the rendering,” said Feldhoff.

The motion was called and negated, Council voted three – three. Goffinet moved to differ the application until the supporting documentation was provided.

Germuth asked if the District has a program which they could use to see what the colour would look like. He was told they would, but it would take a day of staff time to do so.

Murphy disagreed with Feldhoff’s comment that anything would look better. “I still believe that we have certain standards that we want to maintain within the community. A simple finish to the application process would be a benefit to them and a benefit to us. If we start utilizing our staff for application processes that is the responsibility of the applicant, then we’re going to be opening up the door to be doing it for everyone,” said Murphy.

The motion was called and carried.

This came up under new business on Tuesday, September 2nd with the proper illustrations as well as physical siding samples of what will be used on the building. Feldhoff made a motion to start the process. The motion was called and carried and the project went to the September 3rd APC Meeting.

Administration was still unsure if there was anyone living in the building.
"Eyesores" around town
Comment by CEM on 21st September 2014
There are definitely some properties around town that should be fixed up or tore down and I wonder what the story is behind these very sad looking residents. Economy slowed ? bad times ? whatever the reason, why does the District of Kitimat allow these residents to devalue other homes. I'd like to know who the owners are and is the District of Kitimat doing something about it ?
Comment by mmurphy on 8th September 2014
You are correct Rory, there are applications before us, and tabled until the housing report, but the process is to send the application to the Advisory Planning commission, the Advisory Housing commission and any other appropriate committees for recommendations to council. Move forward the process of community involvement. Based on these recommendations along with staff recommendations council debates and make a decision, but listen to all submissions without pre-conceived notions. The continual focus on Alexander only gives the owner more power to request certain costs, we need to concentrate on what council can do to address the problem of appearance, and staff and council are doing just that. But as you know debate takes place, and in this case majority voted and agreed drawings had to be in place before the permit could go forward.
The appropriate Application as required, was submitted, approved and moved forward by council at the last council meeting. You may call me anytime I will gladly discuss this with you.
Good comment.......
Comment by Larry Walker on 7th September 2014
I wonder if there is some way we could double or even triple the taxes on this derelict the owner would either have to fix it, sell it or let it go to tax sale.
Comment by Rory Brown on 5th September 2014
This is a first. I have to quote Mary Murphy “I still believe that we have certain standards that we want to maintain within the community". If this were true, explain why there are re-zoning requests like what the Rigoin's want to do on Blueberry (no thanks), and the one next to Margettes, but the Alexander townhouses are still looking like crap, empty, and nothing is sone about it. There is where these developments need to be. Its zoned, unsightly, and needs to be brought to the standards that Murphy spoke about.