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Concerns raised regarding Cliffe Ave. development

Height variance to build a four-storey apartment complex requested

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

A public hearing last week at Courtenay council drew a few concerns about a zoning amendment for a commercial/multi-residential proposal in the 1900 block of Cliffe Avenue.

Highstreet Ventures — which developed the neighbouring Tides condominiums on 20th Street and the Holiday Inn Express on Cliffe — is requesting a height variance to build a four-storey apartment complex, part of a proposed subdivision that includes a commercial building on Cliffe and a river walk trail to be donated to the City.

Council had approved a development permit last year but rescinded third reading of a zoning bylaw early this month.

Council first issued a permit for a four-storey residential building in 2008, granting one additional floor beyond what was allowed within a Multiple Use Two Zone.

However, the company did not proceed, due to "the economic conditions of the day," a staff report states.

A zoning amendment would increase the allowable height from 10 to 14 metres.

Betty Donaldson, president of the Tides strata, feels the development has added ambiance but is concerned a fourth storey might adversely affect property values at the Tides.

Bob Lowey, who owns two units at the Tides, feels that a further "deviation" will devalue the site.

"These are serious concerns," Lowey said. "How much do we have to get kicked? We're left with a non-conforming site."

Highstreet plans to extend Riverside Lane from 20th to 19th streets. Riverside runs between the commercial site on Cliffe and residential buildings extending to the Courtenay River. Some residents worry that speeding cars might use Riverside as a short-cut to avoid the 17th Street intersection.


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