Comox council approves rezoning for new development

Located at the northwest corner of the town, a new development proposal featuring a mix of single family homes and commercial development was presented to Comox council Wednesday.

A rezoning/development permit application was submitted by Jim Agius and presented by architect Eric Ching of Urban Design Group Architects for 2310 Guthrie Rd. — kitty corner to the intersection of Guthrie and McDonald roads.

"The proposal allows for the appropriate transition between compatible land uses within one neighbourhood, all in support of the premise for compact and livable communities," Ching explained. "Four commercial buildings are situated along Guthrie and McDonald roads, while six family residential homes are interfaced between the proposed commercial use, and the existing residential community across Tracker Place along the southeast."

In a presentation to council, town planner Marvin Kamenz noted the proposed development addresses the town's Official Community Plan in a variety of ways.

The development targets a reduction in greenhouse gas by constructing to an equivalent of a LEED certified green building standard for the commercial area and a certified Built Green Platinum standard for the six single-family dwellings; it supports the sustainability of multi-modal transportation by providing bicycle parking in multiple locations and a bus shelter to support the implementation of a transit stop; it respects the scale and privacy of adjacent uses with single story commercial buildings; encourages pedestrian activity along with creating a buffer for residential areas to the east from the commercial activity with single-family homes along Tracker Place.

Two of the four commercial buildings fully address McDonald and Guthrie, with active, directly accessible storefronts, added Ching.

He said the architecture respects the northwestern character of the surrounding residential neighbours, employing slopped asphalt shingled roofs, horizontal siding and generous timber details, all in a complimentary colour palate.

In his estimated financial impact report to council, director of finance Donald Jacquest said the six single-family homes along with approximately 2,768 square metres of commercial development could have an initial benefit to the town (including development cost charges, permits and more) of $305,921.

The ongoing general taxation after development could be $72,164. He added the financial effect of the proposed development is positive because it is very close to pure infill — only adding a bus shelter, utility connections and bike markings, as no new road or sidewalks need to be built.

Council approved the rezoning and development permit application be referred for comment to the town's Advisory Planning Commission.

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