Once again the Terrace City Administration is requesting the councillors approve a spot zoning change to the City’s OCP (Official Community Plan). This has been a repeated event in the past number of years and the only rhyme to the reason seems to be personal preferences or personal associations.
In April 2010, Debbie Scarborough requested and received spot zoning on a property on Park Avenue; the home which caught fire in 2009. It was approved even though it was far outside of the norm. Some councilors properly raised concerns at the time. Spot zoning has also occurred in the Mountain Vista Bench area and on the Southside on Eby Street. Other requests for spot zoning, simply to add an in-law suite, have been denied. Councillors generally accept anything recommended to them from their Administration.
A public hearing, which begins at Terrace City Hall tonight, will be to consider the publics input on permitting the former location of 4-Sure Auto Service to be used as a “Technical Consulting Firm”. The zoning has not permitted this area for these types of facilities as the region is currently described as being a “Service Commercial” zone.
The City allowed the same type of zoning amendment to allow a laboratory operation into the building previously known as the “Kids Zone” at the rear of the complex Outspoken was located and Creative Zone is currently in.
A drive by on Greig Avenue will demonstrate a number of service/commercial enterprises, which generally attract even more customers to these different business as they get their keys cut by Terry’s Locks or have their sled serviced by Kens Marine. Service/Commercial is designed to attract walk-in customers. A technical consulting firm will not add significantly to the services currently located here. This type of business is industry specific and not for the average Terrace citizen. The building is currently vacant and the lease opportunity is good for the applicant. The question though is it good for the City and the surrounding businesses?
Although Terrace needs to attract and provide opportunities for the burgeoning service industry to the exploration and mining enterprises, having then spread throughout the community rather than in an identified “OCP” region seems counter to the objective of a community plan.
Should this “spot zoning” be allowed or should the City restrict this behaviour. The City is open to hear your opinions at 7:00 pm this evening, Monday, December 12, 2011.
Read the full City Public Hearing document by Clicking Here.