Committee votes unanimously to rezone land for residential use
By Jonathan Migneault
If all goes well, construction on a planned five-storey, 55-unit seniors apartment can begin in the the spring, says the project’s architect. The above image shows the subject lands when viewed from the west end of Elm Street, in Coniston. Supplied photo.
The city’s planning committee voted unanimously Monday to rezone a 16-acre property in Coniston so it could accommodate a five-storey 55-unit seniors apartment building.
“It’s an excellent proposal in my view,” said Ward 10 Coun. Fern Cormier, chair of the planning committee.
Most councillors on the committee gave high praise to the project, which would help seniors in Coniston stay in the community, and would also open up single-family dwellings in the area for young families.
“Coniston is the perfect place for a development like this,” said Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh.
Before Monday the property, located at the west end of Coniston’s Elm Street, was zoned for conservation and future development. With the planning committee’s support it will be rezoned to medium density residential.
“They (the planning committee) realize how important it is,” said Les Lisk, chair of the Coniston Non-Profit Seniors Housing Corporation, which has spearheaded the project.
With the proper zoning, Lisk said the next step will be to transfer the land to the association – which he said should be a formality at this point – and to bring water to the site through a $300,000 cost-sharing agreement with the city.
Sheena Sharp, the project’s architect, said the apartment will be a green building, with a goal to produce as much energy (through solar panels) as it uses.
While there were some early concerns about the apartment being in a floodplain, Sharp said the plan accommodates for the landscape, and the driveway, for instance, has been raised to offset any potential flooding.
If all goes well, Sharp said construction could start in the spring of 2017, and would take around a year to complete.