Approximately 100 Comox residents attended the public hearing on the proposed development to be built on the lot of the Lorne Hotel

Comox residents pack public hearing on Lorne development

More than 100 people attended Tuesday evening at the Comox Community Centre

With a majority of voices expressing their concern over the proposed Lorne Hotel project, more than 100 people attended a public hearing for the development Tuesday evening at the Comox Community Centre.

The hearing was held in accordance to Comox zoning bylaw amendment No. 1791 and Comox phased development agreement authorization bylaw No. 1792 – to establish a phased development agreement between the developer and the town for the provision of amenities for the development at 1770 Comox Ave.

Those against the development noted generally they are not against the idea of the project, rather, the design – especially the proposed height of five storeys.

“A five-storey building on the busiest corner in Comox just doesn’t make sense,” noted Barb Tribe, whose grandmother owned and operated the Lorne Hotel for 30 years.

“We need a building, we need a pub, but not a five-storey monstrosity that doesn’t reflect Comox. We want a new building, but we don’t want this building.”

Last fall, rezoning and development permit applications were given first and second reading by council for a five-storey, mixed-use building. The project would feature a pub/bistro on the first floor, and a variety of condos from 700 to 1,500 square feet on the remaining floors. In late-November, the town hosted a public open house for the proposed development where residents came out in droves to view the latest architectural drawings and asked questions of project manager Shawn Vincent and architect Harry Whitfield.

As a result of feedback and comments from the open house, Vincent addressed council in early-April of the latest design changes for the commercial/residential building.

Vincent said he considered the public’s request for more of a marine/heritage feel, and changes to the design included stain colour, larger timber posts, chain or polished stainless cable on the patio, more glass added to the pub/bistro side and an artist mural about the historic Lorne on the Port Augusta side of the building.

For those opposed to the project Tuesday, the changes were not enough.

Resident Frank Young said while he admires the adjustments, he still believes the “lipstick application” will not render the building acceptable for the town.

Judy Johnson questioned the height of the development.

“Why do people think bigger equals better?”

She noted Vincent’s response to the public’s concerns seemed to focus on minor details rather than “the monstrous size.

“Courtenay has plenty of that; Courtenay is the business hub. We want an asset rather than an eyesore.”

A smaller group of supporters of the project expressed their approval, and noted the building will bring much-needed energy to the town’s downtown core.

Real estate agent and Comox resident Derek Costantino said while the project may be unpopular with some, residents must understand how difficult it is to attract investment dollars to the community.

“Time does not stand still … I don’t feel we’re losing anything; we’re going to gain a significant project we can be proud of.”

He added he took issue with the perception that downtown businesses are thriving, and noted in his experience, it’s the exact opposite.

“We’re creating densification, and it adds money downtown. We’ve got small business owners – not big box stores – and we need people downtown.”

Twenty-year Comox resident Bob Olsen echoed Costantino’s view, and added no view corridor would be blocked, and the development would bring more business to the downtown.

“There’s no damage at all to having the building built there.”

Both owner George Kacavenda and developer Vincent addressed council at the meeting, and noted they look forward to moving ahead and clarified details.

Council will vote on third reading of the project at the May 20 council meeting.

 

Just Posted

Preliminary inquiry for Island resident facing numerous charges in Comox Valley shooting

A 27-year-old Saanich resident had his preliminary hearing in Courtenay Wednesday as… Continue reading

PHOTOS: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

VIDEO: Leaf Compassion celebrates legalization in Courtenay

Leaf Compassion in Courtenay celebrated the official legalization of marijuana in Courtenay… Continue reading

Man injured in Vancouver Island racetrack accident meets, holds son for first time

Kayden was born the day after Jonathan was crushed by car at speedway

SD 71 school trustee candidates answer questions on sexual identity issue

The four unacclaimed SD 71 candidates were asked their stance the SOGI issue

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

‘A little odd’ B.C.’s biggest city celebrates cannabis without a legal store

On the streets of downtown Vancouver, notably the Wild West of illegal marijuana, not a single legal store opened Wednesday, making for a rather anticlimatic kick-off

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Most Read