Midtown(EMCON) Mixed Use Development Information

Rossland Midtown Project Open House Q&A’s

Open House Information Boards

1. What is going on?

The City of Rossland and the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society have partnered to build a 3 to 4 storey mixed-use building on the western portion of the vacant site located on 3rd Avenue. With the recent announcements of Provincial funding programs for housing, the City and the Society put together an application for funding, which received preliminary approval.

2. Who is the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society (LCAHS)?

LCAHS is a non-profit organization formed in 2013 to provide affordable housing to low- to modest- income households. The society currently operates two sites in Trail, and one in Rossland, with a new development underway in Trail for early 2020.

3. Why is BC Housing involved?

BC Housing and the Columbia Basin Trust are both providing capital contributions to the project. BC Housing will also arrange financing. The project and funding are both subject to BC Housing’s final approvals process.

4. Why is the City involved?

The City is making the land available on the western portion of the site for housing and is looking at funding options for the commercial space on the ground floor. There are many benefits to receiving Provincial dollars in the community including adding more rental housing for Rossland’s year round work force, revitalizing a vacant and previously contaminated site, and providing potential construction job opportunities locally.

5. Why are you considering moving City Hall?

In 2018, the roof of the City Hall building on Columbia Avenue collapsed under snow pack. After initial assessments of the building, there are major structural issues that would have to be addressed. The building was also functionally obsolete, and the roof collapse event has presented the City with some options to reduce inefficiencies and provide adequate office space for staff and meeting space for Council.

The current City Hall space is a temporary option not a long-term solution. The City is exploring options and has not yet made a decision about moving back to the original building or relocating.

Currently, the City is waiting on final numbers from the insurance company regarding the roof collapse which will impact the decision.

6. Who would live here?

The target population to be served is Rossland’s year-round moderate-income workforce. This would be defined as people who work year-round in Rossland with incomes ranging from $30K to $60K. Rental rates will be determined with input from BC Housing.

7. Will this affect property values?

We do not believe that this development will affect property values. It will be a positive addition to the neighbourhood, and the building will be well designed and well managed.

8. How much will this project cost? And who is paying for the cost and ongoing operations for the project?

The estimated cost of the project is around $13M. The project will be funded in combination with BC Housing capital contributions and arrangement of financing. The City is also exploring various funding opportunities for the ground floor portion.

This project is an example of using government partnerships to develop an energy efficient and sustainable building in the City that also generates additional property tax revenue for the community.

Ongoing operations and financing of the building will be funded through revenue from residential and commercial rents.

9. What work has already happened on site?

The site has been previously remediated, and the City has commissioned updated Environmental reports to confirm potential uses on the site. The environmental study findings indicate that residential uses are permitted on upper floors of any new buildings with commercial uses on the ground floor.

10. What approvals does the project need?

The project will need rezoning, a development permit, and building permit from the City of Rossland. The project consultants are currently working with the City to determine the appropriate zoning and will work with the City to ensure conformity to all City design guidelines.

11. How long can I expect construction in the vicinity?

The project is expected to take place over approximately an 18-month period, however will need to be confirmed when a contractor is selected. Construction is expected to begin in early 2020 (March/April) and completion is expected in September 2021.

12. How will construction affect the local neighbourhood and immediate neighbours?

The Project Committee and its consultants will follow best practices in construction planning and neighbour relations. The Project Committee will be hiring a construction manager to develop a construction management plan to mitigate congestions and noise, and will provide ongoing communication through construction to neighbours and the community.

13. Will construction be noisy?

There will be construction noises during City-permitted construction hours. The Project Committee will be working with the contractor to mitigate noise as much as possible.

14. Is this building going to shadow my building and block views?

The new building has been designed to be located on the southern portion of the lot to minimize impact on adjacent residential areas. There is also a significant landscaped buffer between the lot and Fourth Avenue which the design team would like to retain.

15. How will this new development effect on street parking?

We do not believe that the proposed development will affect street parking. The City and the design team are working on potential street upgrades and off-street parking will be provided on site and potentially at the arena.

16. Will there be any excavation?

There are no underground levels associated with the development. Some excavation will be required for the foundation.

17. At what stage is the project, and how else can I get involved? How will my input be used?

The open house (March 6, 2019) focused on the preliminary project concepts prior to any formal submissions to the City. Any comments received in writing will be submitted to the Project Committee. Any comments received will be taken into consideration as the project proceeds.

If you wish to submit written comments, please fill out the form below. Comment forms may be filled out and left at the Open House or dropped off at City Hall.

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Expiry Date: 
Wed, 2019/06/05