Thursday, September 5, 2013
City Hall News
LNG Storage Facility Coming
Residents cite Lickman Rd bottleneck, urge council to fast-track exchange project
LNG storage facility zoning change applicant Cameron Rogers walks away a happy man after council gave their stamp of approval to the project. Below, Henry Weins, president of the Promontory Residents Association spoke to council about the planned trail system around the new housing development at the evening session.
n City business this week, councillors passed a motion to amend a CD-6 zone which would allow an 18-unit residential housing development at 5465 Westwood Dr. on Promontory after hearing from local residents.
There's a burgeoning city of a million people less than 100 miles away. Chilliwack needs to prepare for a population explosion and densify as more families move up the valley.
Henry Weins, president of the Promontory Residents Association, spoke to council about their group's concerns over the project at a public hearing Tuesday evening.
"Its a compromise," said Weins. "It gives two things: preservation of the ridge and the a trail system on the view side overlooking Chilliwack."
Weins thanked City staff for their work in planning for the development adding that they were pleased with the plan.
Project developer and Chilliwack River Road resident, Dennis Geisler said its taken three years to get to this point, and in the end, everyone is happy.
"You guys get your park and we get our lots," he said.
Council then approved the rezoning.
Council also put a stamp on a rezoning application from the Netherlands Reform Church of Chilliwack to allow the church located at 8920 Broadway, to build a residence on-site.
The third rezoning application council looked was a new Liquid Natural Gas bulk storage facility for the purpose of refueling semi trucks on the drawing board for 44046 Progress Way, and traffic congestion was a major part of what was discussed.
The site is already zoned industrial and the developer wanted to amend the CD14 zone to allow for sales on site.
Brian Jansens, president of the Chilliwack Mountain Ratepayers Association, expressed concerns over traffic issues at the exchange.
The new Hampton Inn being built is located at 8050 Lickman Rd. and development plans include a farmer's market and a commercial truck fuelling station, are among other things slated to be built.
This all adds to the traffic problem and what some call a "bottleneck" at that discombobulated intersection.
Traffic issues on Lickman Road/Progress Way will eventually be sorted out as per the Official Community Plan.
Brian Jansens, president of the Chilliwack Mountain Ratepayers Association took his group's traffic concerns to council last Tuesday evening.
Jansens wants to see the City's priorities rearranged and the Lickman Rd. exchange project keep pace with development.
He wants to have the upgrade, which is still 6 years away, bumped up from its place on the list of City upgrades.
"Critical mass is developing there and with it, traffic will be coming," said Jansens, who admitted he hadn't yet read the traffic analysis report. "If you wait 6 years
Mayor Gaetz said they have a 10-year OCP plan and that there are many things, however there is a pecking order for funding.
"Staff have said its a pretty significant cost," explained Gaetz. "Just to pay for this, we'd have to raise (property) taxes 7 per cent."
She assured Jansens that the City will be looking at the issue over the coming months.
The final rezoning application involved a property at 45341 Magdalena Pl. where the owner wants to build on the existing garage.
Resident Gordon Hall had concerns that the building will house a shop and he didn't want to listen to the noise associated with an operation of that nature.
Gaetz told Hall that businesses aren't permitted to operate there and council voted 4-2 in favour of allowing the expansion to go ahead.
Both the mayor and councillor Sue Attrill were somewhat dismayed that the owner was not available for questions at the public hearing.
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