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Council more at ease with Beardsley Ave. rezoning

Proposal moves forward after councillors give project green light

At its meeting earlier this week, Lacombe City council held a public hearing and gave second reading to an amendment of Land Use Bylaw 300 that would redesignate a small parcel of land at 4902 Beardsley Ave. from medium density residential (R4) to maximum density multi-unit residential (R6).

At a previous meeting on Jan. 27, council gave first reading to the amendment, but expressed concern about the size and shape of the parcel of land, believing it may be too small to be rezoned or developed for a residential building.

After receiving more information through the public hearing, council seemed much more at ease with the proposed amendment.

Councillor Peter Bouwsema said the additional information helped him better understand where the landowners were coming from.

“It makes so much more sense to understand why they want to go R6, and the property is very conducive to this type of use,” said Bouwsema.

Councillor Wayne Armishaw said he thought taking only a parcel of a larger land parcel and rezoning it seemed unusual.

City Planner Jennifer Kirchner agreed that it was unusual, particularly for this type of development, but not unheard of.

Also during the Feb. 27 meeting, Lacombe City council heard from Kirchner that any residential building on this parcel would not be able to contain more than 12 units and would most likely contain less. However, at this week’s meeting, Kirchner recanted that statement, saying that an error had been made in the rough calculations of the planning department.

Kirchner said that, without taking into account landscaping, parking and other such features on the parcel, the maximum capacity for a residential building would in fact be 27 units.

She added that this did not change administration’s recommendation to approve the rezoning.

Donald McKee, a surveyor with Bemoco Land Surveying who represented the owners of the land, said that they are envisioning an 18-unit residential building with underground parking, because of the size of the lot. Because of the increased cost of underground parking, the owners wished to increase the allowed density on the lot to warrant that cost.

Council voted unanimously to give second reading to the amendment. Councillor Grant Harder, who voted in opposition of giving the amendment first reading, was not in attendance.