Ashcroft meeting to decide on new development

Local developer needs a Development Variance Permit before he can proceed with new commercial building in downtown Ashcroft.

A new building on Railway Ave. needs a Development Variance Permit before it can proceed, so a public meeting will be held Aug. 10 at 6 pm in the Village Office, followed by a special public Council meeting at 6:30 to consider granting the permit.

Ashcroft Council reviewed the permit at its July 27 meeting. Ashcroft developer Henry Dahms has proposed a contained retail/residential complex to be built in the empty lot between the Central Cafe and Sun Country office. The complex will consist of two separate retail units each having their own entrance from Railway. The complex is a two storey structure with a single living residence on the second floor and an entrance off of Railway.

However, the area falls within Ashcroft’s Development Permit Area, which means that any developer must follow a detailed set of rules about how the structure will be built, what materials will be used, where features will be placed on the structure, etc.

The Zoning Bylaw allows commercial buildings a setback maximum of one metre, but the building plans propose 1.5 metres.

“The DPA bylaw is outdated,” Administrator Michelle Allen told Council, “and many of the requirements are no longer reasonable due to changes in Provincial safety legislation.”

She said that having the proposed 1.5m building setback allows the doors to open outwards and a reduced possibility of hitting a pedestrian, but because of the current bylaw, it requires a Development Variance Permit.

There are several differences between the bylaw and the proposed building plans that include facades, canopies over sidewalks, roof slopes and roofing and facade materials.

Allen said after the meeting that the DPA bylaw ties in with the Zoning Bylaw and Official Community Plan, all of which are scheduled for updating in the coming year.

“I think it will be a nice addition to Railway,” said Coun. Barbara Roden. “It will fill up one of our empty lots and be in harmony with buildings on either side of it.”

Mayor Jack Jeyes agreed that it would be a welcome addition to downtown Ashcroft.

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