School district 52 is blaming the city for losing out on a sale agreement on the former Kanata Elementary School property.
The elementary school closed in 2008. Seven years later, with the approval from the Ministry of Education, School District 52 listed the site for $975,000.
At the March 6 board meeting, the district announced that the sale agreement they had with Bryton Group Properties Inc. had fallen through due to rezoning issues with the City of Prince Rupert.
“At the public meeting of city council on March 7, 2016 Councillor Mirau was clear that the city needed to be open for business,” said chair Tina Last, in a press release highlighting the school board’s recent meeting. “The failure of the rezoning process for the Kanata school property is a sad day for the district and is disappointing for a community that needs additional residential development.”
The board of education had entered the sales agreement with Bryton Group in May 2015, but the sale was dependent on successfully rezoning the site from public to residential. The city approved the first reading of the rezoning bylaw July 2015, and the property was last discussed at a council meeting March 2016.
The school board chair plans to write a letter to the mayor and council to express the board’s disappointment.
“In respect to being open for business, it should be noted that our council has approved 315 new residential units since taking office in November 2014, including another proposal by the same developer,” Councillor Blair Mirau said in response to the school district’s press release.
He said that council did not reject the rezoning application for the former Kanata school site. Council had voted to table the second reading of rezoning after it requested more information from Bryton Group regarding the proposed density of its residential development.
The developer was responsible to act as the district’s agent in the rezoning process. Mirau saidit was the choice of the developer not to continue with their application after council requested more information.
“While it is extremely disappointing that the school district chair has chosen to try to cast blame on the city, we hope to work collaboratively on returning the site to productive use. We strongly encourage the district to continue their efforts in pursuing a sale of the former Kanata school site that is consistent with the city’s Official Community Plan,” Mirau said.
The district stated it plans to work with their realtor to look for other bids for the property.