There is faint hope in Chilliwack that some of the magnificent old Minter Gardens could be retained as part of a new housing development.
Those dreams may come true to some degree.
Details were revealed at a development information meeting on Nov. 21, attracting about 50 people from the neighbourhood to Rosedale Middle school.
Neighbours were invited to find out more about the proposal for a 120-home residential development eyed for properties on Bunker Road and Llanberis Road.
Ron Haan, of Woodspan Developments, and Haan Brothers Construction, and his brother, Harvey Haan are the owner/developers, the “Chilliwack boys” with lots of community ties, behind the development proposal.
Comprising three parcels of land, the new development, with a 50+ retirement community component will incorporate some of the original Minter Gardens, including the much-loved rose gardens and formal gardens.
Unfortunately the Haan brothers felt they could not keep the entire show gardens in operation, and developing the site was their only option.
The developer recounted how quickly they put in an offer to buy the 30-acre Minter property.
“I walked the gardens one day, and made a deal that night,” Haan told The Progress.
The Minter family has been “super” to deal with and they forged a good relationship during negotiations, he added.
Since then they have hosted two information meetings, along with Wedler Engineering and FVRD reps ahead of any rezoning, Haan said.
Attendees of the meeting got a good look at the recently updated drawings that included the lot layout, road structure, and trails.
“The neighbourhood was really positive about it,” Haan said about the info meeting.
Minter Gardens closed in 2013, and the community mourned its passing at the time.
The plan now is to rezone the land from the existing ‘Tourist Recreation Commercial’ to ‘Suburban Residential-3’ for single-family residential homes, with a section reserved for 55+ community.
Introduction and first reading of the zoning bylaw by FVRD directors could be in December, with the rezoning hearing held in January of 2017, said Haan.
Part of the plan includes a waste water treatment plant for FVRD that will be constructed to serve 250 homes.
“We’re hoping to have some lots to sell by next winter,” said Haan.