District of Hope council met behind closed doors Monday night to discuss the “disposition” of 455 Coquihalla St.
It was the only agenda item on the special general meeting, and no further details were available.
The property has a long history of local interest. The District of Hope currently owns the 1.5 acre lot, having purchased it several years ago as an investment. It was once a site for Imperial Oil, and following that it was the former Community Garden.
But these days it sits unkempt and empty. It is about one-block walking distance to three of Hope’s schools.
Just before the flooding hit in November, council discussed the property at length in an open meeting while they went through the bylaw amendment process to rezone for development. They are looking to sell the property.
At that time, some council members said that they didn’t want to open up the possibility of a developer building something out of character with the neighbourhood, while others noted the lack of available affordable housing in the community.
The lot was rezoned from single family residential to multiple family residential at the Dec. 13, 2021 meeting.
Under the Community Charter, council meetings can be closed to discuss “the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality.”
Mayor Peter Robb told The Standard following the meeting that there was nothing to report.
The next public meeting will be held on May 9 in council chambers at 7 p.m. The public is now welcome back into the meetings and masks are optional. The meetings continue to be recorded, as they were prior to the pandemic, by the Hope Ratepayers Association.
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