The empty corner at Main and Broadway could soon look much different from a barren lot. Tuesday night Smithers Council approved a grant application in the amount of $67,000 to Heritage Canada for a planed town square style green space on the vacant site.
However, there were concerns raised by council before the approval went forward.
“The concern that was expressed by councillor Brinesse was just whether there was going to be opportunities in the future to deepen that public consultation, have an opportunity for the public to comment on the actual design,” said Mayor Taylor Bachrach.
“The comment I raised was whether we’re going to have a chance to see a more refined design than the one that will be included in the grant application.”
The big push at this point is getting the grant application in so we can secure those funds from Heritage Canada and make this happen.”
Smithers council also had two delegations last Tuesday from the Groundbreakers Collective and the Skateboard Park.
The Groundbreakers, an organization dedicated to providing the community with fresh, locally grown food is looking for a new home for the Princess Garden. Currently located at the corner of Princess St. and Princess Cres.
Groundbreakers are actively looking for another area to plant the garden and asked council to aid them in that search if possible.
“I hope the Town will consider lots that they might have,” Gale Jenne said.
“And if they’re not being used, then maybe offer them up.”
The Skateboard Park is getting set for a possible upgrade. Jason Krauskopf spoke to council about the importance of keeping the skate park up to date and fresh as it continues to attract droves of boarders and has clearly outgrown its current borders.
Krauskopf mentioned the need for a larger skate park is a priority and is working on a plan to expand the highway side park within the next two years to accommodate the growing number of boards and bikes.
Council also discussed another possible rezoning bylaw on Walnut Drive from P-2 to R-3. Medium density rezoning has been on council’s agenda already this year and is clearly becoming an important issue for some. Increased traffic patterns again were a top concern, however, Councillor Frank Wray says although higher density housing is needed those concerns must be taken into consideration.
“I think it is fairly important [to have medium density],” said Wray.
“But we do have to make sure when we’re looking at it that we just don’t look at the plan that is brought before us that we answer the possible questions that arise out of having that density in that particular location.
“We definitely need more density in places to make things more affordable bur we have to do it with some thought.”