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Boutin Ave Design charrette results in site plan

Masha Scheele
Local Journalism Initiative

Following a design charrette, the Town of Hinton presented a final site plan to the public and local stakeholders for the undeveloped town-owned lands at the intersection of Boutin Ave and Drinnan Way.

Local stakeholders and the public were invited to attend the four day charrette in which they provided input and feedback for the three lots.

The design team, V3 Companies of Canada, created four options for the area based on the input from stakeholder groups.

The preferred design option that resulted from the charrette includes tiny homes, semi-detached units, town houses, a multi purpose facility, a four storey multi-unit, a professional centre, a commercial retail unit, a storage facility, a future multi-unit, trees, a playground, an amphitheatre, a community garden, and outdoor active exercise.

The estimated construction cost will be determined this August, and a pro forma will be developed in August and September. A pro forma analysis is a set of calculations that projects the financial return that a proposed real estate development is likely to create.

A report will be created at the same time, which will be presented to council in October or November.

To fund public services, municipalities have two main avenues, including taxation and funding through grants from other levels of government.

“As funding and grants from other levels of government are difficult to predict and rely on external factors, municipalities rely heavily on residential and non-residential taxation to fund all the services in their communities,” stated the Aug. 18 council information package.

Residential development is subsidized by non-residential development on an average of three to one, it read. 

The preferred site plan includes affordable housing, which is defined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as households that spend less than 30 per cent of its gross income on acceptable shelter, including utilities and fees. Acceptable shelter is defined as housing that is adequate in condition, suitable in size, and is affordable, added the information package.

Public input addressed a need for 55+ housing, multi-purpose centre, trail connections, community gardens, public spaces, affordable housing, intergenerational housing, diversity of housing stock, multi unit housing, choices in housing options, and a connection with Pine Valley Seniors development.

The three parcels along Boutin Ave are surrounded by a range of matured developments, with the exception of the lands extending south and southeast of the site.

In total, the project site area is 4.77 hectares or 11.78 acres.

The parcels are currently districted Urban Node Commercial (C-NOD) and Medium to High Density Multiple Dwelling Residential District (R-M2), which means they are intended for a wide variety of retail commercial and office uses at higher densities, and a variety of medium to high density housing.

The area is well connected to the existing commercial amenities through both pedestrian and road networks, as well as the existing trail system.

“It is anticipated that the existing roadways can handle the traffic generated from the three parcels,” stated the Aug. 18 council information package.

The area does not have any on site servicing, however, there are tie in connections to water and sanitary sewer nearby, as well as Fiber Optics, power, and gas.

Five new hydrants are required to meet the maximum hydrant spacing requirements.

There are some portions of the land that have steep slopes, which poses challenges related to accessibility.

Some of the challenges addressed during the charrette were site constraints versus cost of development and reaching affordability of housing stock.

Site constraints included transmission pipeline easement, power line easement, shape of parcel, restrictive covenant, elevation of land, cost of land, and no servicing along Boutin Ave or Drinnan Way.

A report that will come to Council in September that will provide more detail on next steps, stated CAO Emily Olsen.