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Last week, Merritt City Council held the first half of an unusual public hearing into the proposed zoning bylaw.

Those still wishing to speak to the massive document will be able to attend the next council meeting for the conclusion of the two-part hearing.

While several speakers approached the podium to show their support of the changes a few questions regarding park land, in particular, were seemingly resolved by City Staff.

The first set of questions was regarding the proposed land-use change to park land for a pair of properties along Springbank.

“It is the riparian area on the north side of the Nicola River,” said Planning Manager Don McArthur. “The idea there would be to have that land as a conservation area or a nature preserve.”

The second looked at a small area on Parker that overlooks much of the City.

“The idea would be for a neighbourhood park, however, the plan for that has not yet been developed,” added McArthur.

Questions also arose about Windy Cannon.

“In conversations with developers one of the first things we mention is that canyon is dedicated as a park in our OCP,” said McArthur.

As for the support of the new bylaw, a developer with deep ties to the area spoke to his desire to return to Merritt and how the changes in the bylaw can help increase development in the City.

The second phase of the public hearing is scheduled for August 18.


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