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UPDATE: Kamloops council sends proposed 141-unit apartment to public hearing

(UPDATE: Feb.1 @ 10:30 am) – A 141-unit apartment building that is being proposed for the corner of 1st Avenue and Columbia Street has been forwarded to a public hearing.

On Tuesday, Kamloops City Council agreed to give the public some say on the rezoning proposal for 653 and 683 1st Avenue and 116, 128 and 136 Columbia Street.

The applicant, Total Concept Development Ltd., is looking to change the lot to the high density multi-family zone to make way for a new eight-storey, 141-unit apartment.

The developer is looking to maintain two of the existing multi-family units located at 116 Columbia St. and 683 1st Ave.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kamloops

Additionally, they would keep the single family homes at 653 1st Ave and 136 Columbia St.

The would demolish a home at 128 Columbia St. and take over a portion of the backyard at 136 Columbia St. to make way for the new proposed apartment building, which has been dubbed the Canary Lofts.

This application was forwarded to a public hearing because city staff said they have concerns with parking and traffic impacts and whether the building will fit into the neighbourhood.

The next public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 28 at 7 pm, however, be sure to keep an eye on the city’s council schedule for more information.

(Original story: Jan. 31 @ 10:32 am) – On Tuesday, Kamloops council will be considering a rezoning application for a proposed 141 unit apartment building on the corner of 1st Avenue and Columbia Street.

Kamloops-based Total Concept Development Ltd. is looking to rezone 653 and 683 1st Avenue and 116, 128 and 136 Columbia Street.

In order to make way for the strata and rental apartment building, the properties would need to be switched to the RM5 – Multi-Family 5, High Density zone.

There are two multi-family buildings, one with 11 units and one with 30, and three houses located on the subject property.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kamloops

The developers would keep the 11 unit building at 116 Columbia St., the 30-unit building at 683 1st Ave. and the single-family dwellings at 653 1st Ave. and 136 Columbia St.

The single-family dwelling at 128 Columbia Street would be removed and a portion of the backyard at 136 Columbia St. would be incorporated into the plan.

The property would be home to more than 170 multi-family units including 56 studio units, 98 one-bedroom units and 17 two-bedroom units.

A three level parking structure and at-grade parking would create 178 parking spots.

The newer 141 unit building would be eight storeys tall.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kamloops

City staff identified two concerns in this application.

“The first is regarding the traffic impacts that will likely occur with the only available access to the development being from the lane,” reads the report.

Lanes are required to be six metres wide to allow for two vehicles to drive by, however, the current lane is only 4.9 metres. The builders say they would position the building a certain way to add the additional 1.12 metres.

However, the lane will still be too narrow at the east end which may require vehicles to back up into 1st Avenue or 2nd Avenue or waiting on the main streets for vehicles to exit the lane.

City staff say the entire lane would need to be configured to allow for safe traffic in the area.

“The second area of concern is whether the scale of this development is appropriate for this neighbourhood and whether it can be considered sensitive infill,” said city staff.

“Given that the proposed high density and the building height of 8 storeys is intended for the city centre mixed use centre/residential district, it will appear dramatically taller than anything else in the neighbourhood which primarily consists of heritage dwellings and low-level townhouses and apartments.”

City staff say they are supportive of the need for housing in the downtown area, however, they say the concerns are too great to recommend support at this point.

On Tuesday, at 1:30 pm, council will be asked to consider sending this project to a public hearing.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kamloops

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