Fernie creates rental zone in Castle Mountain neighbourhood

Community feedback had been robust

The land proposed to be re-zoned as R-5R within Fernie for rental housing. (Image courtesy of City of Fernie)

City of Fernie councillors have given third reading to re-zone a large lot in the Castle Mountain neighbourhood to a new rental zone.

The applicant – First Pac West Group – of the lot at 90 Castle Mountain Rd intends to develop market rental housing, which required the lot be re-zoned from the previously existing zoning of CD1 (which would allow resort accommodation) to R-5R (which is a new zoning allowing multi-family residential rental). No other R-5R zone exists within the municipality. It is a relatively new zone that only a handful of municipalities around the province have implemented.

Public feedback to the proposal to construct purpose-built long-term rental housing in the area had been robust, with 19 written submissions made to the City of Fernie. Four were in support, while 14 were in opposition. (The nineteenth submission requested additional information).

In working through a long list of concerns raised which included height, density, views, nature of the development, wildlife corridors, architectural merit, neighbourhood character, traffic, perceived lack of public consultation and conflict of interest, parking, infrastructure, walk-ability, and property value (among other things), manager of planning with the City of Fernie, Patrick Sorfleet said that the re-zoning was within the guidelines of the official community plan (OCP) in that it allowed for additional rental stock, and the density and height limits within the new zoning were comparable to the prior zoning of CD1. Sorfleet argued that other concerns raised with the proposed development were either within OCP and municipal guidelines, or beyond the City of Fernie’s control or purview.

During discussion, councillors voted to amend the maximum allowed height of any proposed development on the lot, lowering the height of allowed buildings from 20m to 14.5m. Councillors Hamilton and Pulsifer voted against the amendment, but the vote was unanimous in approving the re-zoning of the land.

The applicant had been supported during the first instance of the re-zoning coming before the council by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, which wrote a letter of support for the proposed development and required re-zoning, with executive director of the chamber, Brad Parsell writing that “the lack of multi-family housing developments and affordable housing in our community has become a serious problem for the local business community in our efforts to attract and retain a stable workforce.”

The applicant plans to construct 72 rental units, with the intent to manage them itself. They will move ahead with planning the development in 2021.

READ MORE: Rental zone considered for new housing development in Fernie

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HousingMunicipal Government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

(From left to right) Twin Meadows Animal Rescue co-directors Puneet Grewal and Nycki Wannamaker with Stick & Stone manager Meaghan Collins, and Stick & Stone owner SJ Nelson. Pictured here with Blue, Hombre, Daphne,Skye and Freedom. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
‘Rescue starts from the moment they come through the doors’: TMARS co-founder

Puneet Grewal of Elkford co-founded TMARS in 2020, and with the help of a small army of volunteers and fosters has helped dozens of animals find homes

B.C. ranks as fourth most attractive Canadian jurisdiction for resources companies

B.C. was ahead of neighbouring Alberta, which was ranked as the seventh-best Canadian jurisdiction

Castlegar’s Gabrielle Herle (right) will be one of the speakers at the conference. She is seen here with Wendy Gaskill from Chinook Scaffolding accepting their Contractor of the Year Award in 2019 from the Builders Code Champion Awards. Photo: Submitted
Girls in STEAM and Leadership Conference offered free for all girls in the Kootenay Boundary

Virtual conference for girls in grades 8 to 12 will be taking place on March 8

Flowers given to seniors that were 'adopted' through the Buds and Blooms program. (Image contributed by Lilac Terrace, Sparwood)
Brighten a senior’s day with flowers

Receiving flowers can improve well-being by lifting spirits, so the folks at… Continue reading

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read