Site of former Woodland Park School eyed for residential development
Woodland Park residents may soon be getting new neighbours, as the owners of the Woodland Park Elementary School site have begun a process with the city to rezone the land for residential development.
The parcel of land in question has been empty since the summer of 2009, when an arson fire burned the abandoned elementary school to the ground.
Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve first and second readings of the zoning amendment, and city director of development services Phil Markin said there now has to be a public hearing for the rezoning to move forward.
City councillor Kevin Chernoff said the owners of the property, El Rancho Vista Farms Ltd out of Kelowna, are only, at this point, looking to subdivide and develop four lots at the front of the property, leaving a 1.94-hectare lot (adjacent to the river) undeveloped for the time being.
“I suspect we’ll see some requests in the future for the rest of that land,” Chernoff said, adding the lot sizes indicate infill development, which is set out as a priority in the Official Community Plan. “We want to encourage infill development to diminish urban sprawl, and it’s more economically appealing for the city in terms of providing water, sewer, etc.”
Five youths were arrested in connection with the fire, and subsequent concerns over the safety of the site were dealt with by the owners (see https://castlegarsource.com/node/3828#.UuGnRLRlCjc and https://castlegarsource.com/node/2828#.UuGnirRlCjd ).