Comox council unanimously votes against changing business hours operation

Comox council voted Wednesday against a business licence bylaw amendment that could limit hours of operation for companies operating in the town.

Comox council voted Wednesday against a business licence bylaw amendment that could limit hours of operation for companies operating in the town.In December, in a 3-3 ‘non-decision vote’ before packed council chambers, council initially turned down John Watt’s development permit application that proposed retail and outdoor storage of topsoil, finished compost and bark mulch, and construction of a covered fuel facility at his topsoil operation at 1660 Knight Rd. near the Comox Valley Airport.Following another well-attended meeting in January, council issued the permit subject to conditions that limit the amount of product stored outside and increase the height of a berm along the property’s west side to 4.5 metres. Some area residents expressed concern about increased noise from truck and equipment activity.At this point, the town does not limit the hours of operation at any business in Comox. When it receives complaints, it works with a business to try to reduce the nuisance.The bylaw, which was forwarded to council for third reading, could have limited the hours of operation and delivery of product on weekends at Island Enterprises.”We wanted to do our due diligence … it’s a unique situation and it wasn’t black and white. The neighbours knew that; Mr. Watt knew that. I hope Mr. Watt’s business can proceed,” said Coun. Patti Fletcher. “I want to take the wait-and-see approach. Hopefully, no issues will arise.”Coun. Ken Grant added the bylaw impacts every business in town, and warned council about the message it might send to the larger business community.”(Mr. Watt) said he’s willing to be a good neighbour. As long as we have recourse in the future if problems arise, I’m OK,” noted Coun. Marcia Turner.All members of council opposed the recommendation.• • •The new addition to the Comox Community Centre should be open to the public either by the end of the month or the first week of April, confirmed Coun. Tom Grant. “There’s just a few minor issues, it’s just a matter of getting it right,” he noted. “If you think back to last June, it was just a pile of rubble. For a municipal project to be proceeding this quickly is almost astounding,” he said.• • • Prior to the open house for the draft Official Community Plan scheduled for March 7, municipal planner Marvin Kamenz offered council “a good news story”  Wednesday in the form of the Koers Report.”The engineering report looks at the additional infrastructure or the deficit for growth. We can account for growth projected without occurring major new infrastructure,” he said.Kamenz added the report, which reviewed the existing underground services for the proposed land use designations and potential residential infill lots maps for the OCP, noted the existing sanitary upgrades would meet additional demands placed on it by any new development.photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com