Smithers council approves garden, housing development

The Princess Garden has a new home after a decision by Smithers Council to permit the demonstration garden to be located on town property.

The Princess Garden has been granted a new home after a decision by Smithers Council last week to permit the demonstration garden to be located on town property.

After much debate council chose the location near the Chamber of Commerce and Central Park building on a temporary basis.

Although it wasn’t the first choice for Ground Breakers urban garden, it meets all the requirements needed to produce fresh, local vegetables with enough access for everyone involved with the garden.

“We’re glad we got it,” Gail Jenne said. “It’s sunny and it’s central and I think it will keep the seniors involved that we had from the Bulkley Lodge and Pioneer Place.”

Mayor Taylor Bachrach is also pleased with the decision, noting urban gardens are a growing trend throughout North America and he wants to make sure the Princess Garden has a proper location to flourish and develop local food production.

“We had a good constructive discussion and I think we settled on a solution that is going to meet their needs,” Bachrach said.

“It’s about food security. Local food production is a key part of our community plan, it’s something that’s seeing a lot of interest these days.”

Still, this is a temporary home for the garden. Once the land is developed, Ground Breakers will have to find a new location for their garden, which can be a difficult task.

“I like the idea of the town being involved and us using town land but also temporary spots can be kind of exhausting as well,” Jenne said.

Council was also busy last week with current development projects around town.

There are a number of housing projects already underway in Smithers including the new houses going up in the Willowvale subdivision as well as the eight unit apartment building being constructed on Third Avenue. Although there’s still a number of projects to get shovels in the ground this summer, Brienesse sees this as a good sign the local economy is not only strong but flourishing.

“Overall I think it shows confidants in the Smithers market and the economy,” Birenesse said.

“People must be happy with the direction that council has taken and the outlook is positive for Smithers otherwise they wouldn’t be investing in our community, so that’s good to see.”

Smithers Council resumes with a public hearing June 12 at 6 p.m.