A 39 unit affordable apartment building in Williams Lake received the green light after being granted a variance permit on required parking spaces.
Williams Lake Council this week gave the approval to vary a section of the zoning bylaw to reduce the off-street parking requirements from 78 spaces to 41.
Mayor Walt Cobb says although it will provide 2 handicap spaces and at least 1 parking space for each unit, he understands that parking within the area could still an issue that will have to be addressed in the long term.
“We deal with it in other areas with BC Housing and what not. They do all their surveying and what not from bigger cities where they have a more robust transit system and people in the Cariboo let’s face they don’t use the transit system like they do in the Lower Mainland or the bigger cities; everyone has a car even if it is just an old beater.”
Cobb still believes however that the housing project on First Avenue North is an excellent project, and that sometimes we have to bend the rules a little bit and deal with it at a later date noting that that has been done before for Glenn Arbor, Eagles Nest, and the Cariboo Community Church on Oliver Street.
“There are a couple of lots in the area and I know that’s part of the Downtown Parking Commission area and the Commission has money in their budget that could buy a lot if that becomes an issue and make it a parking lot, but again people are probably going to have to walk a block-it’s not going to be right next door,” he says.
Concerns on parking were voiced at Tuesday’s Council meeting by Cariboo Bowling Lanes owner John Dell who suggested that the City create angle parking in the area in front of the new building. Resident John Pickford meanwhile said that the area is congested and suggested that Council altogether not give approval to the amended development permit.
Community Living executive director Ian McLaughlin told Council that if they had to come up with more parking spaces it would directly affect renters which would defeat the purpose of the project noting that 10 parking spaces cost around $200,000.
Before Council gave unanimous approval, Cobb suggested to McLaughlin that perhaps part of the rental agreement allows tenants to own only one vehicle.
The project is a joint venture between B.C Housing and the Williams Lake Association for Community Living.