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REPORTING · 23rd December 2014
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council saw a brief presentation on the proposed changes to the Alexander Townhouses on Monday, December 15th. Dennis Vincent, the owner and Dan Condon, the architect presented to Council on this project.

“On the corner of Nalabila and Alexander, there is an existing older town house development that has been in fair disrepair so Dennis has purchased that property and is intending to develop it into an apartment and townhouse project,” said Condon.

There will be 9 townhouse units backing onto Nalabila and 8 12 unit apartments will be 105 units when the project is complete. The area is currently zoned for 80. Council was told they are ready to start as soon as they get approval from Council. The developer is currently working on similar apartments and townhouses in Terrace.

A memo to Council explained there needs to be extensive zoning changes done to the lot to allow the units which are planned. It would allow for greater density which would mean either changes across the board for similar zones or a whole new zone.

The reason is, they are asking for smaller then minimum lot area and greater maximum lot coverage. They want a 31% increase in number of units, 28% increase in lot coverage, a 23% increase in gross floor area, a 1 metre increase in height and 86% of the parking spaces required.

Councillor Larry Walker asked if there was a business or game plan to accommodate the people living in the townhouses now as a part of the project. He was told there is accommodations for them. Walker asked if the finished project would be owned or rental. He was told it would be rental.

Councillor Clair Rattee asked where it would be that the people would be moved to. She was told it was into the neighbouring houses.

Councillor Edwin Empinado asked how many people would be affected. He was told it would be 7-8 people.

Rattee asked about accessibility. She was told that much of the area will not be accessible due to the underground parking. However, one of the buildings can be reached with a handicapped ramp due to the slope of the area.

Rattee also asked about what can be done concerning affordable housing. She was told by the proponents that Kitimat does not require building affordable housing with every project at this time.

Later in the meeting, it was time to give it first reading, which would refer it to the APC, schedule a public hearing for January 20th and issue public notice.

Acting Mayor Mario Feldhoff wanted to make sure everyone on the streets around the project would be aware of the project. Walker expressed he could not support the density of the project. Murphy expressed she was pleased they were going to knock down the existing buildings and put up something better.

“I’m also very satisfied that they looked at the people already renting there and are going to be moving properly into a facility,” said Murphy.

Goffinet wanted to know if there was a public open house planned. He was told that they encourage proponents to hold meetings but it is not a requirement. The developer is going to mail out information to people in a set area and invite comment back by email or phone.

It was determined that Council wanted a larger distribution of notices to go out and this was made as an amendment. A similar amendment was made for Council to strongly encourage an open house. The motion was called and carried.
Regarding: Alexander Townhouses
Comment by Connie Everitt on 23rd December 2014
We just received a phone call last night from the old owner’s caretaker that we were under new owners officially.
But no contact with the New owners as of yet. I was interested to hear they have planned accommodation for us. We have not been told anything.
And we have heard this before from People who were Reno-victed across Kitimat they were told there would be accommodations made for them but what they were given was higher priced accommodations that they could not afford and nowhere to store their stuff. All of the storage units in Kitimat and Terrace are full even as far away as Smithers. Also most of these relocated people were put into timed leases and then when renewal time came the cost of leasing went up or they had to leave.
We just went through 2 dispute hearings with our old landlord/owners trying to fight to keep a roof over our head and two of our neighbours.
We would be interested to hear from the New owners and the plans they have for us.
Instead of finding out this stuff concerning our lives and affordable roof over our heads in the News or at a City Hall meeting.
We have not even been given any way to contact our new owners to confirm anything.
After 1 1/2 years of lies threats from old land owners and landlords and 2 disputes (both which we won total victory).
We want to hear about all of this privately. Maybe a meeting between all of us tenants ( by the way, I believe there are 11 or 12 of us) and maybe the New owner to give us an idea of how this is all going to work and a time line. And I don't know of any neighbouring houses around here that are empty. I sure hope he is not thinking that we all stay in one or two houses.
I am with Councillor Clair Rattee about affordable housing. We do need the lower rents. In this city the rents are out of control with greedy landlords trying to get people to sign leases higher and higher or moving them out to get someone else desperate for housing to move in and some not even caring how bad a place is and getting people to outrageous prices to have a roof over their heads. I have seen some poor people live in conditions you would not even let a dog live in and they pay an outrageous amount for a 3 month lease contract.
Why would they stay you ask?
Because. There is nowhere else to stay. This is their home town so they put up with the mould and getting sick because they cannot afford to live anywhere else. We do need affordable housing in Kitimat. And no there has not been affordable housing with any of the new projects. Unless you think 1,600 to 3,500 a month is affordable. Most of the people who rent are not high paid employees they are 1 person working families or two person low-income families some with small children. That is why our school attendances dropped and why you don't get faster service anymore when you get a cup of java from your favourite restaurant. Most had to be relocated out of town try to find affordable housing. So yes we do need affordable housing in Kitimat and it is long over-due.
I know Mr. Vincent and Mr Condon had nothing to do with it but maybe if they heard from people who have been through it he will understand.
There has been a lot of greedy landlords in this town of late. It doesn't touch many of the people in Kitimat because they own their own homes. But maybe they would feel differently if the bank said no you are not paying high enough so pay higher or we are going to repossess your house. Some do know. They have watched family members move back home because minimum wage does not help pay the rent. With no storage we watched lots of furniture go in the garbage at the Kuldo apartment’s furniture that the poor people could not afford to move or could not take with them.