FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A business owner is looking to construct a new commercial multi-tenant office building over three parking lots on 101 Avenue.

Council will decide on zoning amendments for the proposed commercial property during Monday’s council meeting. The applicant wants to combine three parking lots at 9708, 9712, and 9716 101 Avenue and conduct the appropriate rezoning.

If council decides to conduct the first and second reading of the amendments, a public hearing will be scheduled for November 22nd at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

The building was proposed by a “long standing business owner,” according to documents included with the November 8th report to council, and will cover 5,000 square feet, with four units. The owner will be the anchor tenant, and the remaining spaces will be leased as retail or office spaces.

“Since the lots that the Owner wishes to consolidate have individual titles and split zoning (1 lot is RM-2 and two lots are C-2), they are currently highly constrained in their ability to create a multi-tenant commercial mixed-use development,” said Charlene Jackson, planning technologist with the City in the report.

Jackson says a developer would be challenged to meet the Downtown Development Permit Area requirements on the “undersized” lots.

“The intent and opportunity for lots in this area has been that they could be consolidated over time to create larger lots and are then able to support high-density downtown commercial and residential uses. This has been supported through the existing OCP and Zoning changes over time.”

A designer is on retainer to work on the building to create an “inviting street presence” while maintaining the “old world charm” like properties in the United Kingdom.

“White or cream colours with black accents will be used to achieve the European traditional design,” said the documents as the building’s facade is inspired by homes in the UK.

The report says the lots were previously developed as overflow and staff parking for the former Fort St. John General Hospital.

“With the relocation of the hospital, these lands are now an unmaintained paved lots that are in various states of disrepair.”