Courtenay council has approved a development permit, with variances, for a commercial/multi-residential project proposed for the 1900 block of Cliffe Avenue.
Three separate lots need to be consolidated before the permit is registered on title.
The plan is to extend Riverside Lane from 20th to 19th streets. The road runs between the commercial site, which would front Cliffe Avenue, and residential buildings extending to the Courtenay River.
Some residents worry that speeding cars might use Riverside as a short-cut to avoid the 17th Street intersection. Mayor Larry Jangula, however, notes the road is a connecting route inside the property.
The applicant — Highstreet Ventures of Kelowna — has provided a study that indicates the development would have minimal impact on traffic capacity for Cliffe.
About 13 people attended an October public meeting hosted by the applicant. Besides traffic, concerns were also raised about nuisance during construction.
Jangula said noise is a “matter of life” for those living near construction sites.
“We need the building, we need this to move forward,” he said at the Nov. 17 council meeting. “I think it’s time that we, as much as possible, get this rolling. Staff have put a lot of energy and time into this. This has gone on five or six years, I think.”
Since last December, staff has spent about 140 hours on the application and related subdivision, says CAO David Allen.
“That far exceeds the revenue that we generate from the fees and the permitting process,” Allen said.
The project proposal also includes a land dedication to the city for the Courtenay Riverway. The exact boundary has yet to be determined.
Some residents have expressed concern about potential habitat loss or changes to the Riverway, but a staff report says it will not be impacted by the project.
The applicant is nevertheless undertaking environmental studies related to the residential development.