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REPORTING · 8th January 2015
Walter McFarlane
The Riverbrook Estates Public Hearing has been going on since August. In December, Developer Leonard Kerkhoff of Kerkhoff Construction presented to Council and said they just want once piece of land rezoned at this time for 47 units. Council had the option to continue the public hearing, or adjourn it to a later date.

Needless to say, he returned to Council on Monday, January 5th to present again. He zipped through the presentation, explaining he has drawn up plans for single family dwellings to replace most of the town houses and apartments with the exception of the 47 he is rezoning for at this time. He added they do have the intention to act according to their original plans, depending on how the first phase goes.

Councillor Rob Goffinet asked if the 16 units of Single Family Dwellings which are part of the first phase also needed to be rezoned. The answer was no, as the land was already zoned to allow them.

Rick Thompson, retired firefighter wished to talk about the piece of land that was going to become park land, by the Elk’s Hall.

“That sort of doesn’t sit well with me,” said Thompson. “There is a fire hydrant in that corner there that I’d like to see addressed. I think they’re important actually, and good to look at before deciding to make a park through there,” said Thompson.

He expressed that he had talked to Kerkhoff earlier in the day and proposed to make the land a fire lane instead of a park. He suggested the fire hydrant was put there for a very good reason and there was the possibility for a bottleneck where a fire hose would take up the road.

“I think we have enough sidewalks and trees in this town that perhaps a fire lane could be there and I’d be very happy with the no parking there for the elks and I think it would easier to clean snow for the fire hydrant,” said Thompson.

Council was told that there was no access back there and a sidewalk would prevent a fire truck from getting back there, meaning they would lose an angle of attack in the case of a fire.

Councillor Mary Murphy asked where the hydrants were, as they were not pictured on any of the maps which Council had before them. It was explained to her the hydrants on Konigus are across the road from the Hydrant in question. This would cut off access to the street in the case of a fire. As for the Fire Hydrant in question, it is the greenspace between Konigus Street and Liard.

Thompson added: “I heard, it was slated for removal. Being a career firefighter, I was kind of shocked at that because we fight to get hydrants, and it’s not common that they fail. In my career, I had three fail on me so, I understand the maintenance was cut in half on them and I think to this day, it continues that hydrants fail.”

Fire Chief Trent Bossence told Council the Building Inspector and the Fire Chief will review drawings and work with the developer on the specific hydrant locations and what is needed for the structures which are being built and the structures in the surrounding area. At the moment, he cannot determine what will be a good hydrant location, but this will change as the project evolves.

Council decided to end the public hearing.

Later in the meeting, Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion for Council to give third reading and adopt the bylaw. It was called and carried.

Following that, under reports, there was a development permit for Riverbrook estates. One of the comments Council asked about concerned a timeline on the beginning of the construction for the project. The timeline was put in place because most of the development will be done through presales. If this project takes too long to start, Kerkhoff will have come back to Council in December 2016.

Mayor Phil Germuth wanted to know who would be responsible for snow clearing. He was told it will be the townhouses responsibility. The motion was called and carried. Councillor Larry Walker expressed it would be great to see a shovel in the ground.

The motion was called and carried.