Above: Amendments to the Land Use Bylaw to allow the development of the East Block second phase of a mixed commercial/residential complex on 100 Avenue passed the first and second reading on Tuesday, July 11. The third reading has been scheduled for a special meeting on Tuesday, July 18. – File Photo
by Colin Smith
Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, July 18, to approve 3rd reading of bylaw amendments enabling a much-anticipated Coeur de Morinville project to go ahead.
Phase Two of a mixed-use, multi-unit apartment complex on a 100 Avenue lot, connecting with the existing West Block mixed-use development at 10507-100 Avenue.
On May 18, the town received an application for amendments to the Land Use Bylaw governing the site, which is zoned direct control district (DC-4-1), from A.J. Hendricks Construction Ltd. on behalf of the landowner, 1513143 Alberta Ltd. O/A Trade Developments.
At its July 11 regular meeting, Senior Planner Duncan Martin told council that the requested amendments are not substantial and align with Morinville’s municipal development plan and the Coeur de Morinville area structure plan.
The amendments would allow for an increased dwelling unit density of about ten additional units, permit a building height of five rather than four storeys, and remove the stipulation that commercial uses be located only on the ground floor.
The minimum number of visitor parking spaces would decrease by one, and commercial spaces would drop by six.
Martin pointed out that additional visitor and commercial parking stalls are available along 100 Avenue and that a similar variance had been allowed for phase one without any parking issues.
Other amendments reduce the required loading stalls, eliminate the requirement for separate commercial and residential entrances and allow for a combined garbage, grease and recycling containment area.
The administration recommended conducting the first, second and third readings in the same night as a public hearing had been advertised.
The first reading of the Land Use Bylaw amendments was approved without discussion through council’s consent agenda procedure.
The meeting included a public hearing at which Morinville Chamber of Commerce Manager Roberta Pawluk spoke in support of what she referred to as the 100 Block East development.
“We all know that there are a lot of missing teeth on main street,” Pawluk said. “It would be an amazing addition to have an attractive building.
“I feel, and the chamber feels, that if we start developing, future developments will grow, and there will be a snowball effect.”
Following the public hearing, Councillor Jenn Anheliger moved that council approve the second reading of the amendments bylaw.
“I’m definitely going to support this,” declared Councillor Ray White. “It’s not usual for me to support three readings in one meeting. I am going to support second reading and third reading.
“I don’t see any hangups with this. I think it would be good for the town,” commented Mayor Simon Boersma. “Seeing something on that land is going to be amazing.”
The second reading passed unanimously, with Councillor Scott Richardson not in attendance.
Because of time constraints for getting the project underway during construction season and with council taking a summer break, the administration recommended that third reading be given to the bylaw at this meeting, which requires unanimous consent.
Along with White, Councillors Jenn Anheliger, Maurice St. Denis, and Ray White spoke in favour of moving ahead with the third reading.
However, Boersma raised a question about whether Morinville residents had been adequately informed about the proposed development and the amendments sought.
“I’ve heard from several members of the community that they did not know that this was going forward,” he said.
Boersma noted that while notice of the public hearing was put out on the town website, it was not distributed through the Town’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The administration stated that the town had provided the required public notice by advertising in the local newspaper in each of the two weeks prior to the public hearing, along with posting the information on the town website.
The mayor said he would not be in favour of third reading.
His stance was supported by Councillor Stephen Dafoe on a similar basis.
“I cannot support third reading this evening,” he said.
He added, “I understand the urgency of this and am very supportive of this [development].”
Dafoe then asked the mayor if he would call a special meeting of council to conduct a third reading, which Boersma said he would do.
The motion to give third reading to the bylaw was then voted on and did not receive unanimous consent, with Anheliger, St. Denis and White in favour, and Boersma, Dafoe and Councillor Rebecca Balanko opposed.
The special meeting of council to deal with the third reading was then set for Tuesday, July 18.