‘BOLD LEADERSHIP’ has been a self-described aspiration of Kamloops City council since it took office almost three years ago. “Bold leadership for a strong, inclusive, healthy community,” says its own promotional video.
Many of its plans and reports include references to that bold leadership and “big moves.”
Seldom does any political body live up to its billing but the council actually did something bold this week. Something innovative. It wasn’t cautious. It didn’t take the easy way. It was, well, yes, bold. Several councilors even used the word.
When a proposal came before it for a major relaxation of parking-space requirements at a site on Tranquille Road across from Oak Road, council could have gone along with a staff recommendation to turn it down.
The plan is to build a six-story apartment block that wil include 35 affordable housing units and five social housing units. Developer EAS Holdings wants to include only 16 parking spaces. As staff pointed out, that’s a deficit of 25 spaces, or 61 per cent, compared to what the zoning bylaw requires. (Fewer stalls are required for social housing but the other 35 would have to comply with the bylaw.)
The City’s engineering department opposed the plan because it felt it would cause an on-street parking shortfall on Tranquille in the immediate vicinity.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.