In a rare move, Comox council voted to deny a rezoning and development permit application for a subdivision of two single-family lots into six lots in the Claddagh Estates area.
On Wednesday, council voted 5-1 in favour of a staff report that OCP RZ16-2 and DP 16-3 be denied for 1153 and 1167 Tara Road.
The proposal was to create six single-family lots from two existing ones; the average lot size would be reduced from around 7,600 m2 to 2,500 m2.
“The application is really unfair to the people who live there. The rural nature is what we invested in,” explained property owner Dawn Lupton, who presented as a delegation prior to the vote in a packed council chambers filled with supporting residents.
“We (would) see not only the rural nature of our neighbourhood diminish, but our property values as well.”
In 2006, a boundary extension was approved, which included the subject properties into the town.
A transition committee issued recommendations, which included that zoning designations reflect established land usage and predominant lot size, and concurred with staff comments to rationalize lot size and use according to the homogeneous land use pattern already established in the area.
Engineer Andrew Gower told council on behalf of owners of the Tara Road lots Anne English and James Owen, official community plans are a constantly shifting and moving document, and his clients’ proposal is simply another evolution in that process.
While Coun. Barbara Price noted the process is “unusual,” she also said not taking the application any further is also part of the process.
“In the community plan, people expressed they wanted (the area to stay) a rural environment.”
Both Couns. Hugh MacKinnon and Marg Grant agreed they could not support the application.
Mayor Paul Ives said he finds it a little unusual that council would not bring the application to a public hearing.
“It would be an unusual step, but I respect the staff report.”
Ives opposed the vote, and Coun. Maureen Swift was not present, as she declared a conflict of interest.
• • •
Council unanimously approved the creation of a modified parklet in front of Twisted Dishes Cafe.
The parklet, at 146 Port Augusta Street, will require the redirection of pedestrian traffic resulting in the occupation of one parking stall.
Last year, council approved the use of parklets on a trial basis in front of the Komox Grind coffee shop.