Comox marina hotel proponents reacting to feedback from residents

Comox citizens met for the second time Thursday evening to take another look at proposed changes for the Comox Bay Marina Resort.

A smaller vocal group of Comox citizens met for the second time Thursday evening to take another look at proposed changes for the Comox Bay Marina Resort.

Richard Iredale, partner in Iredale Group Architecture, the Vancouver/Victoria-based company behind the resort, first presented to a packed standing-room-only crowd in early March their proposal on the former Edgewater Pub site.

The plan includes a Phase One building of a hotel/restaurant/spa/shopping mix with apartments on the top three storeys, and a Phase Two building uphill (proposed to be built about 10 to 15 years in the future) exclusively with apartments that would meet the town’s Official Community Plan requirements.

Iredale said Thursday at the lower level of the Black Fin Pub they wanted to present citizens with some updates and changes they made based on the feedback from the initial information meeting.

He explained one of the main comments was to define how the project will fit in the overall context and how it will fit in with the area.

“There was an effort made to give the public access to the pocket park and waterfront,” he said, and added they plan to widen the current walkway to 10 feet, along with adding a traffic circle with courtyard to calm traffic, and add landscaping and site improvements.

In total, Iredale said in the first three-storey building there would be 28 hotel rooms and 42 apartment/condo units with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units for multi-family use. The second four-storey building would have 40 apartment/condos.

There would be an alloted 105 parking spots for the hotel building, and 90 for the second, with a planned underground parking lot for the hotel building.

Based upon a recent traffic study, Iredale said the project should bring one car every five to 10 minutes to the area, depending on the time of day.

One main concern brought forth from the initial meeting from residents was the height of the main building and if and how it would block views of the marina and surrounding mountains.

Iredale noted this one was one of the biggest changes they made based on the feedback — they are now proposing a total height of the Phase One building to be 37 feet to existing grade, essentially a one-and-a-half foot difference from the initial proposal.

He added any heating or air conditioning equipment would be hidden within the roof, not adding any addition height or obstruction to the roof.

One concern raised from the initial meeting was the stability of building on fill and the impact it might have on surrounding buildings.

Iredale explained they are planning to construct Phase One on a raft foundation rather than piles, aiding in reducing potential damage on neighbouring buildings.

Iredale explained after the meeting the site currently has a development permit for the original project proposed a few years ago — a 70-room hotel building. They are now seeking a development permit for Phase One and Phase Two buildings.