A plan to create more Hay River homes moved forward on Monday as town councillors passed a motion to start the process of rezoning land for the project.
The Fraser Place subdivision will create 29 units, seen as necessary by town staff as they project a population boom in the years to come. A public consultation is still to come before plans are finalized.
“The town has invested planning and preliminary design work into Fraser Place. The rezoning is the next step in preparing the land for subdivision, detailed design, legal survey, and sale,” council documents state.
The proposed development has faced some criticism. Last year, a petition submitted to council urged councillors to consider other locations for expansion as the development would ruin a wooded area.
Since the rezoning process involves an amendment to the town’s land use bylaws, it must go through three readings at town council before it is passed.
The process will redesignate some plots of land as residential to allow the building of houses, while rezoning some areas as parks and open space.
A playground is included in the plan. The exact location remains to be finalized in consultation with residents.
The town said it was trying to leave an existing trail system intact.
Hay River has previously stated it expects to encounter a population boom of around 2,500 people in the coming years, with various job-creating projects poised to start.
A wood pellet mill is being created in Enterprise, the Pine Point mine may reopen, and a new fish plant is to be built.
Hay River’s senior administrative officer, Glenn Smith, said a finance and sales presentation will be given to councillors in the next month. A public hearing will follow.
Mayor Kandis Jameson said she would ensure residents had the opportunity to provide feedback.
“I made a commitment, personally, when we had people come to council … with their concerns that there would be full a consultation process,” Jameson said.
“We will be going out to the residents of this community to ensure that everybody’s aware of what this is going to look like and what the impact is on the area.”
If the project moves ahead, construction at Fraser Place could begin before the end of 2021.