By Andru McCracken

At last week’s council meeting, Dale Stephens, one of the proponents of Robson Valley Legacies, a proposed seniors complex in McBride, said that passing Bylaw 788 as presented in council’s agenda would end the dream.

The illustrations on this page are a sample of what the new 55+ housing complex could look like. As more public comments come in, some changes may occur. /submitted

“Are you aware that proceeding to pass this bylaw will kill this development?” Stephens asked council.

Stephens said the bylaw as presented would require their development to add curb and gutter servicing around the exterior of the large property.

Later in the meeting, with the help of consultant Liliana Dragowska, council established that the requirement for curbs and gutters wasn’t part of the bylaw at all but a separate agreement that would be negotiated between the developer and council at a later date after a public hearing, but before third reading.

In all there are three conditions that need to be met by the developers to proceed: They need to address a concern expressed by adjacent property owner CN that worries about future noise complaints because of the proximity of the housing complex to the railway. Dragowska said the developers don’t necessarily need to change their plans to accommodate CN’s concerns, but they need to provide a response that satisfies council.

They also need to enter into a section 219 covenant with the Village of McBride council concerning items like sidewalks.
Finally they need to hire an engineer to develop a servicing brief to adequately determine any off-site works required by this proposed development, including identifying domestic water and fire flow demands, sanitary sewer flows and stormwater discharge flow rates.

Dragowska said it was of utmost importance that council does due diligence when rezoning this property.

“Yes it takes time, that’s unfortunate, but doing research and understanding infrastructure capacity [is essential]. What is it going to take to [service] those buildings? What if council says yes and the developer goes ahead and requires infrastructure improvements?” she asked.

“Hopefully the engineers say these services can handle what the [development will use].”

Of the councillors Hruby and Mayor Gene Runtz expressed their support for the project most vocally.

“I think I speak for us all, we want this to happen,” said Hruby. “How can we make this happen?”

When asked for a comment after the meeting, the proponents declined. Stephens was heard to say that the goalposts for the project have been constantly moving.