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REPORTING · 17th December 2014
Walter McFarlane
There was a presentation to Kitimat City Council by Leonard Kerkhoff of Kerkhoff Construction on Monday, December 15th to talk about the Haisla Town Centre. Joining him was Jake Duncan and Brent Robinson from Haisla Business Operations.

He showed Council a slide of what the apartment buildings would look like, allowing them to see the colours and the landscaping which had been updated showing the trees. He explained they will only cut away as much of the tree buffer as they need to, to build the buildings.

He explained the homes on Albatross will not be impacted. In fact, he expressed the homes he was talking about were on Brant on a level higher than Albatross which makes them higher up and further away.

He showed Council the changes to the intersection at Haisla and Tsimshian. “There is proposed, some pretty significant changes, the adding in the northern leg of the intersection, adding a left turn bay in the mall side and a left turn bay eastbound on Haisla Boulevard,” said Kerkhoff.

The plan is to commence construction in the Spring of 2015. They hope that the first building will be done by the fall of 2016. They are working on the planning for the hotel so they can start it later next year in 2016. The restaurant is planned to be connected to the hotel. The commercial area is planned for 2016 depending on market conditions. They hope that one apartment per year will start in the next couple of years.

The apartments will be serviced by underground parking. The units will be 1, 2 and 2 and den units ranging from 622 square feet up to 1400 square foot top floor units.

Kerkhoff expressed there is a public information meeting tonight, Wednesday at the Tamitik Meeting Room from 6:00 – 8:30 open house. Comment sheets will be there to fill out whether positive or negative, they are looking for feedback to incorporate into their plans.

He suggested that Council have a public hearing on January 5th so the public can give feedback, it can be incorporated into the plans. Then get everything in on the 26th so everything can be addressed. He wanted to have all of the approvals out of the way by February so they can focus on getting approvals and building permits in place to start March 1st.

Councillor Larry Walker was concerned that the population of the apartments was all going to be squeezed out onto one road. Kerkhoff explained they had a traffic engineer look at this and they classified the intersection as an A.

Gwendolyn Sewell, City Planner explained there would be a right turn in and a right turn out off of Haisla and a right and left turn on Lahakus. It would separate the residential use and the commercial use. The commercial use would be well served by the driveway off of Tsimshian.

She also explained she expected the population of building one to be serviced by a group of people who would be bussing in and out to an industrial project. Councillor Edwin Empinado asked who the Cliental were for this project. He was told they cannot disclose the information. Empinado pressed a little harder, asking if it was for rent or ownership. He was told: “Neither.”

The bylaw came forward for first reading and the issuing of public notice. Staff told Council they were waiting till the middle of January to get the feedback from the schools. It was suggested the Council have their public hearing on the 26th of January, so the public can reply to the school board comment. Sewell stated that was legal advice.

Councillor Rob Goffinet made a motion to give first reading and give public notice. It was called and carried .

Under Reports, the Council discussed dates. Council was told they had to consult with several agencies, School Board, Haisla First Nations, Haisla Council, School District 82, the APC, Traffic Committee and the Kitimat Housing Committee. Finally, they should schedule a public hearing for the 26th of January.

Goffinet pointed out that Monday Night Council Meetings are hectic and they could not foresee the amount of business Council will have on the 26th of January. Another option would be the 28th of January. It cannot be any sooner than the 26th so the School Board has a chance to respond. The motion was moved for the 26th of January, called and carried.
go for it!
Comment by bill on 17th December 2014
There is so much concrete & debris buried on this land they will likely go broke developing it! Good luck.