Courtenay council

Courtenay council

Council approves contentious development in west Courtenay

At the April 19 meeting, Courtenay council approved a development permit for a contentious multi-residential project at 2800 Arden Rd.

Cameron Contracting had originally applied to construct a pair of four-unit multi-family buildings. However, a covenant allows for seven units. The company reduced the number to seven following a public hearing in December. Cameron Contracting also modified the length of fencing on the northwest property boundary.

In February, council asked for additional consultation with neighbours about proposed changes. Two property owners responded to a mail-out from the company, expressing concern about building height, and the number of variances. The city also received 11 comments which were largely negative.

“The fact that the developer is asking that four covenants be amended should have been in itself enough to quash this venture,” one neighbour wrote.

“This development will bring large amounts of traffic that will cause noise and safety issues with pedestrians and children on the street,” stated another resident.

Council approved a staff recommendation to amend a covenant to permit the development. They also approved an amendment, forwarded by Doug Hillian, to mandate a six-foot fence along the property’s back side.

South Courtenay Riverway Trail extension

The first phase of the South Courtenay Riverway Trail extension between Millard Road and Beachwood Drive is complete. The trail extends the popular walkway by 400 metres, improving off-road access and connectivity for all ages of users who walk and cycle.

“This project has gone over exceedingly well,” said Trevor Kushner, general manager of operations/deputy CAO. “It is a fantastic addition to our trailway network connectivity.”

Phase 2, planned between Beachwood and Marriott Road, won’t be constructed until an exit is acquired at Marriott. Phase 3 would connect Marriott to the regional trail at Chinook Road — but not until a route is established.

Third readings

Council approved third reading for a bylaw amendment at 2700 Mission Rd., where Vancouver-based OrrMoniz Projects Corp. plans to construct 151 rental units on three lots. Due to concerns of neighbours, a second public hearing was held to consider a revised design to reduce the scale and density of the development, particularly in relation to a 72-unit apartment building. Staff said the developer has continued to communicate with neighbours.

Council also approved third reading to rezone 310 Hunt Rd. for the development of a 93-unit Holiday Inn Express. Hillian noted concerns at a public hearing about traffic congestion in the area around Superstore, but feels the developer has made efforts in terms of sound attenuation and visual interferences.

Fourth readings

Council adopted bylaws to permit the addition of a secondary suite at 2129 Blue Jay Place, and a secondary residence at 2011 Cummings Rd. Both are located near Lerwick Nature Park.

Coun. Manno Theos was the lone member opposed to the proposal at Cummings Road. He notes past councils felt it important to maintain the rural feel of the area.

“Sometimes keeping things as they are is beneficial,” Theos said, noting the couple recently purchased the property. “Having a mix of urban and rural, I think, in a community of our size, gives us a special feel.”

Considering the size of the lot, Coun. Melanie McCollum thinks the request is reasonable and won’t set a precedent.

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