A three-storey apartment building is coming to 330 First Street. The proposed development will have 15 units and 25 parking stalls.  

Council approved a conditional use to allow for a multi-family residential development within the ‘C2’ Commerical Community Zone. 

Council also approved a variance to allow the developer to build a three-storey residential building without a commercial component, as under the zoning bylaw, the main floor of the building on this property must be used for commercial purposes.  

The property in question is currently vacant. There was previously a single-family dwelling on the property but it was torn down a few years ago. 

Owner of the property is Skyprom Marketing Inc, and the applicant is Waldo Neustaedter. 

Neustaedter says they attempted to secure interest from potential commercial tenants for the main floor, but were unable. 

“Despite our exhaustive endeavors, it became clear that the peripheral nature of the location in relation to the downtown core posed a challenge in attracting businesses of the desired caliber.” 

He says the project meticulously addresses various aspects, including parking requirements, drainage plans, privacy, and fencing for the neighboring residential properties. 

“We have taken special care to orient balconies and living spaces towards the front and rear of the property, maintaining a distance of 126 feet from the nearest residential house to the back of the building. Additionally, we propose a 25 foot green space buffer to enhance the aesthetic and environmental quality of the surroundings.” 

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Neustaedter also believes it’s a great location, as it’s within walking distance of essential amenities such as businesses, grocery stores, banks and restaurants. 

Two residents in the neighbourhood came to the public hearing to speak against the application. 

Reagan Bradley of 333 Second Street mentions his concerns are growing due to other rental properties in the area. 

“There have been increasing thefts and some vandalism. I've had a number of things thrown off my deck. I've had things broken on my deck in my front patio, and increasing traffic at night concerns me.” 

He adds that he has done repairs on a number of newer multifamily buildings as he has a career in construction. 

“There has been water damage, poor insulation, a lot of things causing humidity and mold and harming the inhabitants, and I would be concerned that that could happen again.” 

Emily Bell of 198 Lumber Avenue is also against the building of this apartment. 

She says she loves the quiet street, peaceful neighbourhood, and the large backyard. 

“Building this apartment is going to take all those things away from us. The proposed building is going to be directly to the back of our yard. We are people that enjoy being in our backyard, having our family and our friends over, playing yard games, having bonfires in the evening.” 

Bell says she does not want to lose privacy in her yard and home. 

“A 3 Storey building is going to be able to see directly into our backyard as well as the windows in our house at the back of our property.” 

Bell adds she is concerned about the traffic that will come with the building. 

“The streets are very small when we're backing out of our driveway, if our neighbors park on the street, we have to be careful to not hit their vehicle as it's a very narrow street.” 

She also has concerns about the parking lot. 

“Not only the noise it may bring, but the light that will be lit up all night in the parking lot.” 

Neustaedter responds, noting the apartment should not affect privacy. 

“There's a vacant lot right beside the proposed building. The balconies, are going to be facing either to the front, to the street, or to the back. And we'll also be putting in a privacy fencing.” 

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Councillor Michael Zwaagstra explains that due to this property’s zoning, there is no chance of a single family home being built there. 

“If this was not approved, if there was a business that wanted to go there, you could have a business of equal size that could go right in that property,” he says. “And in terms of impact and size and noise you would have at least the same impact if you have a commercial property of the same size.” 

He also adds that the lot is currently designated in the Central Business District Transitional Zone in the City’s Official Community Plan.

“It is intended for these types of developments as part of the development of the downtown. So the area is within the transitional zone and it's already zoned for something which does allow for this type of structure. The only question is whether residential can go here, and I think the applicant has put forward a reasonable plan that fits.” 

Councillor Jake Hiebert says it seems like a good plan. 

“We've heard that there's an empty lot on either side, and from my point of view, I don't see anything negative about the plan. We've had a final conceptual plan presented. It seems very plausible.” 

He also suggests this building will be better to surrounding residents when compared to what other types of buildings could be built there. 

“Without the commercial component to it, there will be less traffic in the area, there'll be less noise.”