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Comox council moving toward expanding parking for eateries

Comox council granted third reading last week to a zoning bylaw amendment to allow parking exemptions for downtown restaurant expansion.
Final reading will be considered later in the month.
Council received letters supporting the amendment, along with a few concerns about long-term effects. Further comments will be considered before fourth and final reading.
Even if the amendment is adopted, council will monitor the situation on an ongoing basis.
"We think it's a good thing," Mayor Paul Ives said. "It's a bit of a bold step forward to allow for some more activity downtown. It's most relevant at this point to the Black Fin Pub's proposal to open a family-style restaurant in the main floor of their premises.
"They do have the space there but they've been precluded from going ahead without parking," Ives added. "We think there's plenty of parking in the vicinity...Council feels that we don't need to put onerous requirements for parking on a restaurant expansion like that."
As it stands, the parking ratio is one per six for restaurateurs who want to add more seats. An alternative is to provide bicycle parking. Otherwise, a business needs to cough up money in lieu of an alternate transportation fund.
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Council approved a development permit application allowing Quality Foods to expand the parking lot for employees and customer overflow at 2277 Guthrie Rd.
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Alex Turner of the local chapter of the Council of Canadians spoke about negative implications of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). He requested council to pass a motion requesting municipalities be exempted from CETA. Staff were directed to report back to council.

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