Tuesday September 02, 2014

Home Hardware project green-lighted

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Home Hardware was granted a discretionary use permit by Yorkton Council Monday to facilitate expansion in the city.

At the March 10 meeting, Council approved public notice for a proposed expansion to Home Hardware, located at 145 Broadway Street East. The property is zoned C-1 City Centre Commercial and the proposed Building Materials Sales and Storage use is listed as Discretionary in the C-1 zone

“The affected properties span Broadway Street East from Sixth to Eighth Avenue North, and include the lands for the current site, recently-closed Seventh Avenue North right-of-way, and the former site of Royal Ford. The Home Hardware use is intended to be expanded across all of the properties, but the 1,673.8 m2 (18,017 sq ft) addition would be wholly contained within the current Home Hardware lot,” detailed a report circulated to Council.

“The proposed development provides for an expanded retail area, an indoor drive-through storage area, and additional outdoor lumber storage areas. The construction/sale of ready-to-move dwellings will be relocated to the former Royal Ford site to make way for parking. Boulevard landscaping and a decorative fence are proposed along all frontages to help screen and enhance the view from the street.”

Michael Eger, City Planner said there were some issues brought up through the Planning and Infrastructure Commission, which ultimately was supportive of the discretionary use.

One of the issues was the moving of Ready-to-Move (RTM) dwellings from the property.

“Semi-trucks have blocked traffic on Broadway Street while they manoeuvre to move the RTM dwellings off-site. Even in the early morning hours, this creates undesirable traffic delays and congestion. It was suggested that it would be better to move the dwellings along Smith Street via the new Seventh Avenue South cul-de-sac,” explained Eger.

“In response, Home Hardware advised that it would be difficult and time consuming to move the dwellings along another route, and that moving them along Smith Street would cut off direct access to Highway 9 North. The dealer would like to continue to move the dwellings from Broadway Street to Highway 9 and stressed that this would continue to take place at or before 6 a.m,” he added.

There were also concerns raised over vehicular access to Sixth Avenue North.

The site would already have 6 direct accesses to adjacent streets and Sixth Avenue North is developed with residential lots. It would be best to limit traffic along Sixth Avenue and otherwise encourage access on Seventh Avenue North, Eighth Avenue North or Broadway Street.

Home Hardware has indicated that the access to Sixth Avenue North will be gated and is to be used for deliveries only. Customer traffic will be controlled through accesses to Broadway Street and Eighth Avenue North, explained Eger.

The potential impact on pedestrian traffic was also questioned.

“The closure of Seventh Avenue North disrupts pedestrian connectivity through the downtown. This matter was considered through the closure process and Planning and Engineering will concentrate future improvements along Dracup Avenue to help address this deficiency. This will include a future multi-use pathway from Smith Street to York Road, and future sidewalk or pathway on the east side of Dracup Avenue,” said Eger.

Eger said overall the expansion is a positive for the city.

“The proposed retail expansion is a desired use in the City’s downtown. Site improvements will help to off-set the less desirable lumber yard expansion and relocated ready-to-move (RTM) dwelling construction/sales area. RTM dwellings will continue to be constructed and sold as show-homes on the site, but Home Hardware intends to carry an inventory of only three dwellings at any given time. Once purchased, the dwellings will be moved during non-peak traffic hours,” he said.

And Home Hardware is on-side to cover associated costs.

“Home Hardware has committed necessary funding to the City for the alterations that will complete the physical closure of Seventh Avenue North. Home Hardware is also committed to fund costs for a median cut at the intersection of Smith Street and Eighth Avenue, which would allow full access to Broadway Street. This was deemed necessary by Engineering in order to reduce traffic stress on Sixth Avenue North, which is fronted by residential lots,” said Eger.

Council was unanimous in supporting the discretionary use request.

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