City council unanimously voted to move forward with the process of rezoning several lots at the corner of Algoma and Laurier, where J.C. Chhokar and his family will develop a 24-unit housing complex and want to include a commercial space. 

“There’s a pressing need for a convenience store in the surrounding area at Sask Poly,” Chhokar told city council during their regular meeting on May 13. 

Chhokar said there would be room for two retail stores on the ground floor of the development area. However, part of the lot is zoned R3. Once the rezoning is completed, the entire lot would be R4 and to R4f1 — a flood fringe overlay district. 

“There’s a great need for a convenience store in the surrounding area, as there is a lack of essential commercial facilities within walking distance, a high density and growing population for students in the given area, and a lack of transportation for the new students,” Chhokar added. 

Chhokar also said he had a signed petition with nearly 1,000 signatures from students who want a store in the area, and support from Sask Polytech instructors and local residents who would also benefit from another small store in the neighbourhood. He has agreed that commercial hours will be limited to between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Michelle Sanson, director of the city’s Planning and Development Department, told council that at this point, her department supports moving forward with bylaw preparation and the required notices to the neighbours and other affected Moose Jaw residents. 

In moving that the rezoning application be advanced, Councilor Doug Blanc congratulated the builders for the idea. 

“I think this is great for that community. I’ve seen students walking, numerous times, from either Main Street or from up on Thatcher, (from) the stores up there, carrying small bags of groceries, so ... I certainly welcome (this project).” 

Councilor Heather Eby wanted to note for the public record that the property’s flood zone would continue to be properly maintained. 

“For anyone who may be listening or reading about this later, two of the lots are located almost entirely in the floodway, and so no new structure would be approved in that floodway,” Eby clarified. 

“The administration has worked with the developer and the developer’s designer to be sure that it will all work on that spot and ... it will be built properly.” 

The next regular meeting of city council is Monday, May 27. Council meeting agendas can be read in advance at