The City of Armstrong approved the rezoning of a parcel of land near the Nor-Val Arena from park and open space to residential medium density Jan. 25, 2021. (Roger Knox - Vernon Morning Star)

The City of Armstrong approved the rezoning of a parcel of land near the Nor-Val Arena from park and open space to residential medium density Jan. 25, 2021. (Roger Knox - Vernon Morning Star)

Petition penned to reverse Armstrong rezoning decision

Rezoned parcel near arena could see up to 80 new affordable housing units

A petition has been started to reverse the City of Armstrong’s decision to approve the rezoning of a lot from park to residential to make way for a development that could see up to 80 units of affordable housing.

Council voted 6-1 in favour of the rezoning of the city-owned parcel on Adair Street located behind the Nor-Val Sports Centre at the rear of Memorial Park on Jan. 25, following two public hearings held over Zoom in adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols.

The Change.org petition, started by Dave McLean, alleges city council pushed the rezoning through “illegally” in order to meet the “tight timeline for the developer to apply for funding from the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative grant.”

The petition states a referendum would be required to change the designation of the parcel from park to residential, but Mayor Chris Pieper said the land was never used as a park in a statement issued Jan. 28, 2021.

The land, although identified as a natural and open space in the OCP in the mid-90s, was never considered for future park use.

“The land in question was never dedicated to that purpose,” Pieper’s statement reads. “But rather was purchased as part of a larger parcel for other civic purposes.”

The petition has garnered 160 signatures as of Tuesday, Feb. 16, and was submitted to the B.C. Ombudsperson, Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo and the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

READ MORE: Armstrong paves way for potential affordable housing project

READ MORE: ‘Affordable’ apartments hot topic in Armstrong


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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