Comox council overrides public hearing opposition to approve development

Comox council approved final adoption Wednesday for a development at the corner of Noel Avenue and Torrence Road.

Comox council approved final adoption Wednesday for a development at the corner of Noel Avenue and Torrence Road which increased the maximum number of lots on the property from seven to 10.

Council provided third reading to the rezoning amendment in July, which allows the zoning change from R1.1 (single family) to R3.2 (single family/secondary suite). It also reduces minimum parcel depth from 26 metres to 25 metres.

Coun. Maureen Swift stated her support of the project.

“I think the original proposal was for seven lots, but I believe under that zoning, they could do eight. So we’re really not talking about the difference between seven and 10, we’re talking about the difference between eight and 10, which is just two lots,” she noted.

Following a public meeting with little support of the development, Coun. Patti Fletcher said the decision to vote in favour of the rezoning was one of the most difficult in all of her years sitting on council.

“I recognize the impact on the neighbourhood, many who are my friends and acquaintances and I am not planning on taking this lightly,” she explained. “It’s a puzzle where many facets have to come together.”

Fletcher touched upon the increase in lot amounts on the property.

“It may seem like a small thing — eight lots or 10 lots — but that’s the turning point. It’s saying we’re not going to do things the same old way, we’re going to make a better community. And we’re going to do it in a smaller, more compact way. A sustainable way.”

She added that she examined three fundamentals of the project — economics (building on existing infrastructure), the environment (not extending boundaries, rather accommodating growth) and social aspects (small lots mean small houses, which offer smaller price tags).

Couns. Fletcher, Swift and Tom Grant voted in favour of the project, while Couns. Barbara Price and Hugh MacKinnon opposed it. Coun. Ken Grant was absent.

Amanda Low, a resident of the neighbourhood, addressed council during the open question period with her concerns about the development.

“I have to say … your decision for this really gobsmacked us. You tossed us under the bus. There were no concessions. You gave the developer everything,” she said, and asked council about traffic concerns — particularly speed — near the development.

She also inquired about the benefits to the community.

“We are the direct community, and I see no benefit at all. If you put 10 houses, and it was zoned for eight, you get $6,000 more worth of tax money per year. We get a lot of crowding. I fail to understand how that benefits us — the people who live right there.”

Mayor Paul Ives said a traffic study was commissioned, and there will be a number of initiatives undertaken as part of a 20-year plan.

He also noted the various factors that are considered by individual councillors when considering a development such as this.

“Decisions made by council are always going to be guided by interests expressed by the public … and guided by the Official Community Plan,” he said. “All those in consideration along with budget and infrastructure.

“It’s a broad range of things that council members and staff bring their advice as to what constitutes the public interest. It doesn’t always mesh with private interests, and that’s the nature of the job.”

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Cumberland has agreed to a sponsorship agreement with the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland agrees to sponsorship with Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce

Some on council did express concerns from the past such as amalgamation push

Habitat VIN executive director Pat McKenna, and community engagement manager (Comox Valley) Alli Epp are all geared up for the 2021 Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North #BidtoBuild online auction. Photo supplied
Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North online auction opens soon

Get ready to ‘bid to build.’ The 2021 Habitat For Humanity Vancouver… Continue reading

Ronan and his son, eight-year-old Erwan Teyssier ran The Cumby together this year. Photo supplied
Cumby Trail Race raises $15,000+ for Cumberland forest protection

The theme of The Cumby 2021 trail race was ‘Celebrating This Land’… Continue reading

From left, Karen Cummins, Suzanne Gravelle and Ted Grainger pose with the winner of this year’s Comox Valley Nature Tree of the Year contest - a western yew, located in the Cumberland Community Forest. Photo by Dianne Grainger.
Comox Valley’s ‘Tree of the Year’ unveiled

By Kerri Scott Special to The Record For the first time in… Continue reading

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
Comox Valley shellfish operator fined $10,000 for violations

Fisheries Act charges against three others in same case were stayed

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read