City council has accepted an application from the Ministry of Citizens’ Services proposing to convert the former Sears building for office use. The application will now go out for public comment from surrounding tenants and property owners. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Ministry of Citizens’ Services eyeing former Sears store in Williams Lake

City council has accepted a development permit application from the ministry

After sitting vacant for almost two years, the former Sears Canada site is slated to become a provincial government office space.

During the regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 17, city council reviewed a development permit application from the Ministry of Citizens’ Services regarding the building which is located at 280A Third Avenue North.

The applicant has asked to reduce the number of required parking spaces 85 to 82.

Manager of planning and development Hasbi Nadvi told council the site had 77 spaces and the developer is adding five more.

Mayor Walt Cobb asked staff to find out how many employees will be working at the site and suggested that the ministry pay for the three additional parking spaces through the downtown offstreet parking bylaw.

Council accepted the permit application which will now be brought back to a future council meeting for further consideration.

Notice will also go out to surrounding property owners and tenants within a 100-metre radius of the property for feedback.

Coun. Scott Nelson said he supported the application and look forward to it going out for public comment.

“It’s a big property in our downtown core,” Nelson said.

Sears closed its doors in the lakecity in January 2018.

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