City Council today approved the reclassification of the land use controls for the Oliver Building in downtown Lethbridge.
The building, located at 316 5 Street South, is currently owned by the City of Lethbridge. In preparation for the sale of the property, Council approved rezoning the land use from downtown commercial to direct control. The purpose of this change is to exclude certain uses and to provide development guidance for the design, character and appearance of the street frontage façade.
"By rezoning to direct control, we will ensure that potential buyers capture the vision of both the Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan and the Heart of Our City Master Plan," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "Both of these documents are what guide us in creating a vibrant and sustainable downtown."
The purpose of the rezoning will restrict the range of land uses normally permitted or discretionary in the downtown commercial core. Particular land uses that will not be permitted include: auto body and/or paint shop, automotive, parking facility, vehicle sales/rental and service stations.
"Many, many hours of planning and consultation have been devoted to the creation of our Downtown planning documents," says Councillor Ryan Parker, Heart of Our City Committee representative. "Successful downtowns are vibrant destinations, which attract businesses, residents, and tourists; we want to keep that in the forefront for any new developments."
The rezoning will facilitate either the restoration of the existing building or the construction of a new building providing guidance in the character and appearance of the property. In both cases, the key design elements of the existing Oliver Building façade and the era of original construction are required to be either retained or replicated.
Today's decision was made following a public hearing where members of the community could express their thoughts to council on the change of the land use controls for this property.
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