Coldstream town centre gets green light

Seven properties along Kalamalka Road have been rezoned to the new town centre mixed use commercial zone.

Plans for a town centre in Coldstream are building.

Seven properties along Kalamalka Road (west of the Women’s Institute Hall) have been rezoned to the new town centre mixed use commercial zone.

The change, which included an official community plan amendment, has been on the books for some time in an effort to draw commercial development.

“The idea of a town centre has been part of the municipality since the late ‘90s,” said Michael Reiley, director of development.

Coun. Pat Cochrane is eager to see if any developers are interested in setting up shop in Coldstream.

“It’s been a 20-year-plan. Let’s get going on it and see if we have any takers.”

There’s even interest from some neighbouring properties to join in the zone.

“I like the idea. It’s encouraging,” said Darren Johnson, who lives just south-east of the newly zoned properties.

Glen Faris’ property also neighbours the area, and he suggests that the plan is moving in the wrong direction.

“You’re putting a city centre right across from a school,” said Faris. “It would make more sense to me to bring your commercial activities away from the school.”

Those who are interested in zoning changes must apply for an OCP amendment, which would require a public hearing. It is also something Coldstream may look at in its current OCP update.

“We could expand the OCP designation to include these lands,” said Reiley.

But there is also some concern about the impact of a town centre on the neighbourhood.

“This will increase traffic,” said Johnson, asking if a traffic light will be installed at Aberdeen Road or other measures. “It’s already a crazy intersection.”

Other concerns were raised about existing problems when elementary school is getting out and the farmers market is in session on Friday afternoons.

Drainage is another issue in the area, as three times in the last five years there have been significant flooding problems in the early spring.

But any development going forward there would be required to put in storm sewer, according to municipal staff.

Faris suggests that proper planning will relieve the existing issues in the area.

“I think that a well-planned and thought out process would perhaps address some of these concerns.”