Housing development to receive permit, pending rezoning

375-unit rental complex will take up vacant land on the corner of McGill Road and Dalhousie Drive

This rendering shows what the buildings in the development may look like. McGill Housing and campus can be seen on the right. (City of Kamloops)

This rendering shows what the buildings in the development may look like. McGill Housing and campus can be seen on the right. (City of Kamloops)

A new housing development is one step closer to receiving a go-ahead after city council committed to issue a development permit once a rezoning application is approved.

The development is on the vacant lot of 1261 Dalhousie Drive and McGill Road, which is across from the current McGill Residence on campus. The development will consist of six buildings, totaling 375 units. According to development owner Barry Cross, who previously developed Summit Village on Summit Drive, the units will be rentals.

Before development can begin, the property needs to be re-zoned from light-industrial use to medium-density residential use. The rezoning application will be voted on for adoption by city council once amendments are made and the project has received approval from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

A public hearing was held on Nov. 29, however there was no response. Council voted unanimously to issue the permit, which will be finalized once the rezoning is completed.

According to a City of Kamloops planner, the design of the proposed buildings matches guidelines that have been set out for future expansion of the McGill Road corridor, which is the area surrounding the southern edge of the university.

“It’s certainly consistent with the McGill Corridor neighbourhood plan,” said Stephen Bentley, a planner for the city. He explained that new buildings in the area need to follow certain design guidelines on properties to make new properties attractive, functional for pedestrian use, and to contribute to the quality of the neighbourhood. Those guidelines exist in both the over-arching plan for development in Kamloops and more distinctly within the different neighbourhoods.

According to the city’s community plan, future developments along the corridor are to be designed to better interface with the land use in TRU, transforming the area from its industrial and vacant setting into one that unifies the university with the surrounding area. The plan’s design guidelines dictate that buildings in the corridor should match the exterior designs found in the university “such as the Campus Activity Centre and the Applied Trades and Technology building.”

The development will include exercise rooms for residents as well as a community garden. It is not known how much the units will cost.

An adjacent development was also revealed last week, as Tri-City contracting submitted a rezoning application to the City of Kamloops to build three towers across from TRU’s west gate entrance at 1021 McGill Rd. The development would include 208 units in total and commercial space similar to other buildings in the area.

Kamloops’ vacancy rate is currently at 1.1 per cent, which is less than the provincial average of 1.3 per cent. According to a survey done by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the vacancy rate in Kamloops was at 2.3 per cent last year.