Development of potential industrial land in the Cumberland area has taken another step forward.
Council recently approved a couple of related variance requests for potential development of the site on Bevan Road, which sits to the northwest of downtown Cumberland, past the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre location.
The first request was to vary the minimum lot size for one site of the six-lot subdivision at 3901 Bevan Rd., which will mean another of the lots could be made larger. Acciano Development, otherwise known as Tree Island Yogurt, has been driving the efforts at the site the last couple of years because the Comox Valley company wants a new home for its operation.
The request specifically asks for one of the smaller lots to be reduced from the minimum 7,500 square metres for the industrial zone down to 6,490 square metres.
“The number of lots stays the same…. It allows him to have a slightly larger lot for his yogurt plant,” senior planner Karin Albert told council at a Jan. 11 meeting.
All the other lots conform to the lot-size requirements.
Coun. Vickey Brown said that the range of lot sizes should help move along development at the site as a whole.
“It’ll allow for a smaller operator to locate in one of those,” she said.
Coun. Jesse Ketler, who also chairs the Comox Valley Regional District board, asked about lot size and density concerns from the regional district perspective.
Albert responded that the village did get legal advice about the density of the site because the zoning does not have a unit-per-hectare provision. The village was informed there is no issue.
“Density can be measured in a number of ways,” she added. “In this case, we’re OK to do it.”
At the end of the discussion, council passed the request for the development variance permit.
The subsequent item on the agenda was for a variance to amend the actual subdivision plan, as Albert added this was connected to the previous variance request. In this case, because of the first variance, the developer needs to update a previous variance given to permit servicing of the site. In September 2019, council approved a motion to allow on-site wastewater treatment systems, specifically septic fields, on lots smaller than one hectare for the purpose of developing and servicing the subdivision on Bevan Road.
“The variance that you already granted has to be amended to insert the revised lot plan,” Albert said.
Council then passed the subsequent motion for the site variance.
The Bevan Road site is a large area and represents almost 85 per cent of the potential industrial land remaining in the Comox Valley.