East Hill project denied

Vernon East Hill four-plex development denied

A contentious development proposal on Vernon’s East Hill has been shot down.

Council has denied third reading of a bylaw that would have rezoned 2602 25th Avenue from large lot residential to four-plex housing residential.

“It simply doesn’t fit with the neighbourhood,” said Coun. Patrick Nicol of the unanimous decision not to proceed with the development.

“There was no support for it at the public hearing.”

Residents had expressed concern that the plan for two, four-unit buildings on the 0.3-hectare property would increase traffic and negatively impact the character of the neighbourhood.

The applicant had insisted that the proposal would support redevelopment of downtown and encourage people to walk to nearby services instead of driving.

More Input Sought On Plan

There’s a go-slow approach for land use planning in downtown Vernon and adjacent neighbourhoods.

Instead of adopting the city centre neighbourhood plan, council has rescinded third reading so there can be more public discussion on the future of the area.

“This is an important plan for the city,” said Mayor Wayne Lippert.

“Anyone who wants to provide input should get it into us.”

The plan will designate land use activities in the downtown core, as well as in the Seaton Secondary area.

A second public hearing will be held in September.

Hotel Room Tax Adding Up

Hotel room tax dollars are starting to roll into Vernon’s tourism marketing program.

During the 10 months of 2010 that the additional hotel room tax was officially collected, the city received $286,994.

“A comparison of AHRT revenue by month shows a significant improvement in 2011 with a 23 per cent increase in March and 42 per cent increase for April over the comparable 2010 months,” said Michelle Jefferson, tourism  manager, in a written report to members of city council.

“Note that the AHRT is not exactly two per cent of the room revenue for a variety of reasons, including long-term stays that do not require the collection of AHRT and properties that are located in Vernon for B.C. Stats statistical purposes, but are not within the municipal boundaries and therefore are not subject to the AHRT.”