New housing on Graham Avenue is being proposed.

New housing on Graham Avenue is being proposed.

Oceanview project delayed due to technicality

The proponent of the Oceanview Development experienced a minor hiccup in its efforts to move forward with its project last week.

The proponent of the Oceanview Development experienced a minor hiccup in its efforts to move forward with its project last week.

A proposal by the Bryton Group to construct a housing development on a piece of undeveloped land between the RV Campground and BC Ferries Terminal was brought to the public on June 22, but due to a technicality plans are at a standstill.

The Bryton Group was looking for approval from Prince Rupert city council for the rezoning of the property in question from its present business industrial zoning to multi-family residential designation.

While the application was initially to extend Graham Avenue for 30 single family lots, plans increased to 37 in order to address concerns regarding densification raised by Coun. Joy Thorkelson last month.

As part of the project, the developer is prepared to construct a road connecting Graham Avenue with Highway 16 before the BC Ferries turnoff to create a much-needed secondary access point to the area.

The city held a public hearing to gather feedback last week, with a couple of residents expressing their concerns with the proposal being changed without adequate notification, the presence of a salmon-bearing stream on the property in question and increased traffic down Graham and Atlin Avenues while the housing development and new road are constructed.

While not against the proposal, a representative from the Prince Rupert Port Authority told council the organization is looking to use the former J.S. McMillan Cannery as a container examining area, noting the presence of industry near a residential development could cause problems.

When it came time for council to consider moving forward with the rezoning application, the city’s senior administrators told council because the plans changed to 37 lots, another public hearing should be held

This would allow the public an opportunity to comment on the changes.

The recommendation didn’t sit well with some councillors, as the Bryton Group hopes to start work at the end of July.

“This is someone who wants to invest in our community, and I’m sure they have timelines … These guys are ready to get to work and I think we should move forward with this,” said Coun. Wade Niesh.

However, members of council agreed to schedule a special meeting on July 6 to hold another public hearing in order to move forward in the same timeframe.

“We’re not at all here to hold up development. This is a procedural issue that could potentially have a negative impact on the city,” said Mayor Lee Brain.

The application could be approved at the July 20 council meeting.