TUPping up: approval given for new waterfront gymnasium

A new venture on the city’s waterfront is working out.

A temporary use permit (TUP) has been issued by the City of Nelson for Frontier Athletics Inc. in order to establish a gym at 920 Simpson Rd.

City council approved the move in its regular business meeting on April 9, temporarily allowing the activity not currently allowed in the waterfront zone.

“It’s a big space so we need to be a bit creative to help transition this space and bring it in line with the grander view of what the waterfront will evolve to,” said City director of Development Services, Sebastien Arcand.

The TUP allows Frontier three years to try out the gym and, at the same time, it allows the municipality three years to see if it’s a good fit for the area, he added.

The TUP was approved without debate on council.

Sets and reps

The 0.33-acre property at 920 Simpson Rd. hosts a building that covers about 50 per cent of the area.

Historically, this site was home to RAMP Body and Fender Works Ltd., an autobody shop, until last year. At that time, a TUP was granted to Fuhrious Construction for partial use of the space.

With Fuhrious Construction utilizing only half of the building, this opened an opportunity for a new tenant, said Arcand.

Frontier is expected to use the remaining space (approximately 3,200 sq. ft. on the east side) for a gym, offering parking availability for gym patrons along the east side of the property and behind the building.

As part of the city-wide zoning bylaw update in 2013, this property and four other industrial lands were rezoned in order to align with the City’s long-term vision for its waterfront neighbourhood — and to comply with the Official Community Plan as well as with the City’s Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan.

“These documents envision a residential-based neighbourhood with a mixture of different housing forms combined with local-serving retail,” said Arcand.

Source: April 9 City agenda

Future watch

Utilizing existing buildings in the interim until long-term visions for redevelopment is realized is appropriate, said Arcand.

“Approval of this TUP would enable a suitable use of the existing buildings while maintaining the potential for transition to MU2, should the property be deemed appropriate for redevelopment in subsequent years,” he said. “The TUP offers interim flexibility, supports the local economy, and fosters sustainable development, aligning with the Official Community Plan and Nelson Next objectives.”

This aligns specifically with the following policies in the OCP:

• The City will focus new growth and mixed used development in the Downtown and Waterfront to support a vibrant city centre while protecting outlying natural and agriculture areas from sprawl.

• To identify new mixed-use precincts within the Waterfront West and Waterfront Central district to promote complete, walkable neighbourhoods.

Source: April 9 City agenda

Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily