City reconsiders CN setbacks for Home Hardware property

City council opted to grant Home Hardware a 0.15 metre setback for building a new warehouse at the property at 1628 Alaska Avenue, which at the rear is a CN right of way. (The zoning bylaw requires a 3m setback).

CN was opposed to 0.15m setback, and at the March 11 meeting, had initially given approval to a “compromise” of 2m.

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City planner Aaron Thompson had noted CN’s opposition, saying, “It would make it very difficult or nearly impossible to construct the building and maintain the building without encroaching on the right of way.”

“The point of setbacks is to ensure one activity on one property has an appropriate buffer from another activity on another property,” said CAO Duncan Redfearn.

However, at the March 25 council meeting, delegates from the developers asked council to reconsider.

“It is important to my client they have the maximum amount of use on that lot as possible,” said Mike Zygun with Force Engineering. “We’re trying to maximize the presentation of the building so that we have the proper room to turn trucks, proper room for firefighting vehicle access.”

Zygun said CN Rail does not have jurisdiction over the property, and that they would be able to construct the building without obstructing the right of way.

“It doesn’t obstruct any intersection sightlines, it doesn’t obstruct or hinder the view of any train operations.”

It will be an unheated storage building.

“The Home Hardware dealer that’s coming in there is looking to maximize the space,” added Eric Bell with Northern Legendary Construction.

Council were ultimately persuaded and gave their approval to the 0.15m setback at the March 25 meeting.

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