Port Edward council chambers were full to the brim over a public dispute surrounding a potential decision to rezone the property near the Kinnikinnick Campground and RV Park from residential to commercial use. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

Port Ed council chambers full over campground dispute

Port Edward council puts decision to fund Lester Centre on hold

Council chambers in Port Edward were full last Thursday as residents came out to debate the rezoning of four parcels of land next to the Kinnikinnick Campground and RV Park from residential to commercial use.

Resident Clint Thompson wants to develop the residential land, between Spruce Ave. and Evergreen Drive, to expand the campgrounds but add no additional entrances meaning there would be no extra traffic on Spruce Ave.

“I don’t support the proposal because we need more affordable housing and bigger housing than small little housing in Port Edward. There are only so many places we can develop housing,” said Ian Andrews, who has lived in the district for seven years.

Residents were also concerned that the noise from the new cabins would carry over to their houses.

“I think if I build cabins and fill the space up more than noise won’t carry because now there’s an open space which carries it,” Thompson said

Councillors Dan Franzen and Murray Kristoff both expressed surprise at the turnout and Kristoff moved to table the motion until the next meeting.

Council directed staff to look into further details on how much the new cabins may affect the price of nearby housing and plan to visit the sight to get a better idea of how the proposed plans will affect the surrounding area.

Results show lack of affordable housing

The District of Port Edward does not have a sufficient amount of housing stock for people with different needs, the preliminary results for the district’s housing needs assessment revealed.

Danielle Myles Wilson, chief administrative officer for the District of Port Edward, presented council with the findings from L&M Engineering’s housing assessment, a Prince George consulting firm, contracted to undertake the assessment.

The preliminary results also found a lack of affordable housing and rental housing.

At a later date, council will be presented with a full list of recommendations as next steps to address identified local housing supply gaps.

READ MORE: Seniors housing units ready for tenants in Port Edward

Funding tabled for the Lester Centre

The Lester Centre of the Arts asked the district to consider a $5,000 investment in the venue. Michael Gurney, general manager of the Lester Centre, stated in his letter that they would in turn promote Port Edward’s identity on the art centre’s website, printing on event tickets, displays in the lobby and acknowledgements at the start of performances.

After some debate, council chose to table the request and refer it to the staff for further analysis of how the request would affect the budget.

“I just noticed there’s a lack of events going on there that I think are reacting with the mainstream public. It just seems like maybe through more events they can harness more money to keep the facility alive,” Councillor Murray Kristoff said.

Councillor Christine MacKenzie defended the Lester Centre’s request, saying she believed there was enough room in the budget and it would be a good investment.

“I know myself personally, I use the PAC [Lester Centre] many times and I would like to support it,” she said.


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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