Comox briefs: Blackfin looks to increase capacity; approvals given to roundabout

Council gave approval for roundabout at Comox Avenue and Rodello Street

The design of a roundabout at the intersection of Rodello Street and Comox Avenue. Photo submitted

The design of a roundabout at the intersection of Rodello Street and Comox Avenue. Photo submitted

The Comox Bay Sailing Club is hoping to float their boats in a permanent spot in the Comox Marina.

At the March 2 Comox council meeting, club treasurer Frank Denton noted the growth of the sailing club throughout the past five years has “been nothing but tremendous.”

Last year, they had 300 participants in their sailing club, he added.

“This has really made the need for us to have an indoor training facility of our own very pressing. The bad weather isn’t a problem for sailing but it’s a problem for instruction.”

Denton said if the club had a training facility they could host more provincial events, and proposed a location on either side of the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue facility.

Mayor Russ Arnott explained the proposal will be referred to staff, who will create a report for council to review.

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The Blackfin Pub is hoping to increase its capacity and asked council for a zoning amendment to consider expanding seating – including outdoor – to 310.

Barbara Hansen, general manager of the pub, told council while there is no limit through zoning on the number of patrons a restaurant can serve beyond that set by the fire code, the town does restrict the number in a liquor primary establishment – which they are licensed – to 175.

The property currently has the licence that allows them to serve 110 people upstairs with food, alcohol or both while up to 294 people can be served food only downstairs, plus an additional 174 on the patio.

When the pub obtains a catering permit, it can serve food and alcohol to 468 people downstairs and on the patio; the current permit is set to expire on June 1, explained Hansen.

“From a small business perspective, these licences have more than likely saved several local food and beverage businesses during the pandemic.”

The pub has applied for a zoning change that would allow them to serve both alcohol and food in their upstairs and downstairs without the need for obtaining a catering permit – to consolidate their upper and lower level under one liquor primary licence and increase the capacity to 310.

Coun. Nicole Minions inquired if approval of the bylaw change would affect other establishments within the town. Jordan Wall, the town’s chief administrative officer explained the rezoning would only apply to the Blackfin site.

An initial first motion made was to start the process of increasing capacity to 275. An amendment was put on the floor to increase the capacity to 310. Coun. Minions and Kerr voted against the amendment (with the intent to increase capacity to 275 rather than 310). The amendment passed and council passed a motion to start the process for increasing capacity to 310 unanimously.

A public hearing to discuss the zoning amendment is scheduled for April 6 at 6 p.m. at the D’Esterre House at 1801 Beaufort Ave.

• • •

Council gave budgetary approval for the design and construction of a roundabout at Comox Avenue and Rodello Street.

In late 2014, the town first retained Watt Consulting Group and Koer & Associates Engineering to look at four different roundabout options at the intersection of Rodello Street and Comox Avenue. Currently, the intersection is offset with a pedestrian crosswalk.

Coun. Alex Bissinger, who voted against the recommendation, said while she believes roundabouts are a good piece of infrastructure, she doesn’t believe it would be in the right location.

“Why are we facilitating things for car drivers? Aren’t we trying to get away from driving cars and more active transportation and transit?”

Mayor Russ Arnott said Comox is rapidly changing and the town needs to keep up with the change, while Coun. Jonathan Kerr added this decision “has been the most challenging decision I have had to make so far on council.”

He added he is in sticker shock over the price of the project – $1.5 million – however, development cost charges would cover 90 per cent.

When called to a vote, Couns. Bissinger and Minions voted against the recommendation.



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