July 19, 2018
Two City Owned Properties the Subject of Rezoning to Provide Affordable Seniors Housing
A rezoning application for City owned properties at 46183 and 46187 Yale Road will be brought forward on August 7, 2018 for Council’s consideration to support a proposal by Chilliwack Community Services for a new senior’s affordable housing development to be built and operated by Chilliwack Community Services.
Chilliwack Community Services is preparing a proposal in response to a BC Housing Request for Proposals (RFP) (released this spring) for new rental housing units under the Building BC Community Housing Fund. The units are intended to be rental housing units for independent seniors, with rents affordable for a range of low and moderate-income levels. If Chilliwack Community Services Paramount Project proposal is successful with BC Housing, the City of Chilliwack will provide the two properties on Yale road in support of the project.
The provision of a site is one way that municipalities often partner with the Province on housing initiatives. Rezoning the properties in advance of the September 17 RFP closing date is one way the City can help show support for the project and create increased certainty for the Province. Certainty over land use is considered an important factor in BC Housing’s decision to invest in affordable housing in a community.
Adding additional affordable housing supply for seniors is a priority for the City of Chilliwack. The City’s 2016 Homelessness Action Plan calls for an increase in the supply of affordable housing across the housing continuum to meet community needs, including housing for low income seniors.
The City’s Downtown Land Use and Development Plan, and the 2011 Downtown Core Task Force Final Report call for a diverse mix of residential and commercial uses, including affordable, rental and special needs housing and office development.
The rezoning of the City owned property will proceed in the same manner as all rezoning applications within Chilliwack. Chilliwack Community Services will engage neighbours prior to the Public Hearing, and Council will approach the Public Hearing with an open mind. At the Public Hearing, all persons who believe that their interest in property is affected by the proposed rezoning shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard. As part of the process, a Good Neighbour Agreement will be created with Chilliwack Community Services specific to the project.
Should the rezoning be approved by Council, the project will be contingent on funding and an operating agreement between BC Housing and Chilliwack Community Services. This decision will be made by BC Housing after the RFP closing date of September 17, 2018. According to the RFP, the successful proponent will have a 60 year operating agreement with BC Housing for the management of all units in the development.
If Chilliwack Community Services is successful with the RFP, the City will follow the provisions outlined in the Community Charter for the disposition of City owned land. This requires public notice regarding the extent of assistance, the market value of land to be transferred and any conditions associated with the transfer. If not, the City will rescind the zoning amendment and will not proceed with the property transfer.
~City of Chilliwack
Skelton House Receives Municipal Heritage Designation
At the Regular Meeting of Council on March 20, 2018, Chilliwack City Council adopted the heritage designation for the Skelton House. Heritage designations within Chilliwack are voluntary and only done at the request of the property owner. All heritage applications are substantiated by a report from a qualified heritage consultant prior to Council adoption.
Members of the public are invited to attend the presentation of a Municipal Heritage Site plaque for the Skelton House on May 23, 2018.
Heritage Plaque Presentation Information:
Date: Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: 45483 Spadina Avenue
Constructed in 1913, the Skelton House is a one and a half storey Craftsman-style house located in a then-prominent site opposite the historic fairgrounds. The house features a full open front veranda with tapered piers, an inset second floor balcony and front gable roof and dormer windows.
“It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to recognize the historic value of the Skelton House to our community and to recognize its current owners for their ongoing efforts to preserve this piece of Chilliwack’s history,” said Mayor Gaetz.
The Skelton House is a historic representation of the residential and commercial growth in Chilliwack in the years prior to World War I. A thriving agricultural settlement, Chilliwack saw the BC Electric Railway linking the community with New Westminster completed in 1910 and a post office, hospital, city hall and high school all built before 1914. The original occupants, the Skeltons, were a well-known entrepreneurial and socially activity family, and the social value of this historic house is found in the engagement of the Skeltons with their community.
The Skelton House at 45483 Spadina Avenue is a well-maintained residential property. The heritage designation and upcoming plaque presentation for the Skelton House support the City’s Official Community Plan goal to foster a greater public awareness and appreciation about Chilliwack’s history and cultural heritage. Under the City’s Heritage Designation Policy, the Skelton House will be preserved for generations to come by the municipal heritage designation bylaw.
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