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REPORTING · 30th October 2014
Walter McFarlane
There is another housing projecting coming to Kitimat and it is taking place near the down town core. Leonard Kerkhoff of Kerkhoff Construction was at Council on Monday, October 27th to introduce the Councillors to this new project which will be built on the Haisla owned former Hospital Lands.

“Kerkhoff construction has been engaged by the Haisla to develop and manage for the project. To take it through the process of rezoning, subdivision, getting ready for building and going through and doing building,” said Kerkhoff.

He told Council there will be three apartment buildings with 49 units of apartments each on the upper half of the site and a restaurant, hotel and an office building on the lower half of the site. They plan on leaving a portion of the forest behind the site intact because the land it is on is too steep. Kerkhoff told Council they considered putting something there but they would not be able to put a town home there without putting in a three story basement.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan wanted to know if the Gyro Christmas tree would be preserved. She was told they are looking at moving it to public land below the site which would require an arborist. By moving it, they will be removing the liability from the Haisla and moving it closer to the sidewalks.

“Having a Christmas celebration in the middle of a parking lot… it just doesn’t have a good vibe,” said Kerkhoff.

Monaghan expressed it was a huge tree to move. Kerkhoff told her, there had been bigger trees moved.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to know more about the road, if there was an expectation that a vehicle could cross the hospital lands and then turn left onto Haisla. Kerkhoff expressed there is a centre median so a person could not do a left turn on to Haisla Boulevard. They are doing a traffic study on it at the moment.

Kerkhoff stated it was suggested by District Staff to have a turn off turning into the intersection at Haisla and Tsimshian. However, Kerkhoff expressed the slope was steep and the road might be too steep coming down into a stop light. They will be doing a study on the traffic through their project.

The hotel is the centre piece of the site and will have 80 rooms. It will be built on stable ground. Half of the site is good and half the site might not be so good in an earthquake. The Apartments will be tucked into the hill side which helps address the snow concern.

The 147 apartments will be a mixture of studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and massive units on the top floor.

The restaurant will be 5000 square feet. Kerkhoff expressed it would be about the size of a Boston Pizza, Ricky’s or a White Spot. He told Council they were approaching a number of these restaurants to find one which works well with the hotel. Mayor Joanne Monaghan offered to help him find one as there was a restaurant which wanted to come into Kitimat.

Currently, the site is zoned as institutional. The upper half will need to be rezoned to an R3A zone. The lower half will be C1 zone. Kerkhoff expressed they would sooner have a zone which allowed the hotel, restaurant and office space and limited the use to this site.

“We can’t build an auto body shop or some other use that doesn’t fit into the town’s centre… that was mean eh…” said Kerkhoff.

Feldhoff asked if the park would remain the property of the District. He was told yes. Monaghan clarified there would be a sidewalk through the park. She was told there was a plan to put a new sidewalk along Haisla Boulevard and through the park.

Monaghan asked if they would recommission the helicopter pad. She was told they plan to put a two story office building there. Kerkhoff explained it could have been retail space instead but none of the retailers they talked to wanted be on the other side of Haisla Boulevard.
Eight floors
Comment by Bill Kearley on 7th November 2014
O. M. G. did I just read a comment about eight floors, could this be just cause to own that new ladder truck ?
The tree
Comment by Bill Kearley on 7th November 2014
With out permission and the help of a Wakita backhoe and Glacier concrete who gave me a concrete ring ( planter ) a tree was planted at the entrance to the new hospital in the honer Walter Bors , Kitimat Iron who looked after the lights at the old site. The new tree has been moved to a new location so it can be seen by the patents .

Just a tidbit
Bill Kearley
Park Area
Comment by FayEllen McFarlane on 2nd November 2014
Actually it would be good if they kept not just the tree, but as much as possible of the park area in front of the old hospital lot. I saw people walking and playing in that area just this morning, and I thought it would be a shame to lose it all. But the diagram does look as though quite a bit may be kept. I hope so!
Finally
Comment by CEM on 2nd November 2014
It is such good news to see that there will be something done with the old hospital area. Hopefully it will take advantage of the view.
Kudos to the Haisla for making this progress and please keep in mind that it shbeould be suitable for seniors living independantly.
As for the Gyro Christmas tree.....is the cost really worth it when the money should go to a food bank. Let's plant another tree in memory of why it is there. The tree is getting so large it is difficult for the Gyros or whoever has to climb that tree every once in awhile but save all the lights which was a costly adventure.
And one more thing...
Comment by S on 1st November 2014
I would add a couple of floors to the hotel, bringing it to eight floors in total, in order to include a conference centre.
Haisla Blvd Entrance
Comment by S on 1st November 2014
It would be ridiculous to not find a way to link the Haisla entrance to Tsimshian. They could turn that into a four-way rather nicely with a bit of grading of that slope. Please make this happen.

Let's not take the easy way out - do what's right. The Christmas tree (an actual pagan tradition oddly championed by a Christian mayor) can take a back seat to proper planning of the streets.

All in all, it seems like a great development.

Now if only council could secure a Wal-Mart for the corner of Tsimshian and Wakashan (and a McDonalds for the old Esso site), it would effectively cauterize the bleeding of shopping to Terrace.
Tree
Comment by Jim on 31st October 2014
Ya stuck out in my mind too. It's exciting to see the development plans for the old hospital property
And she focusses on a tree . I agree time for a change
Gyro Tree
Comment by Rudy Schmitd on 30th October 2014
Joanne asking the hard questions
Gyro Tree getting in the way of development
Comment by Ralph Bartel on 30th October 2014
It's a welcome sight to see that the Haisla at least have a plan in place. However, all our mayor is concerned about is the d* Christmas tree? I can see it now.....Kitimat going to court to save Christmas tree. We really need a change in our leadership in this town.