Courtenay council is wrestling with a contentious development proposal adjacent to the Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community. File photo

Development proposal in Courtenay stalled at third reading

A development proposal adjacent to the Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community has stalled at the crucial third reading while Courtenay council awaits further information from City staff.

Silverado Land Corp. is proposing to construct 330 single- and multi-family units on Lannan Road.

At a recent public hearing, several residents expressed concern about stormwater management, drainage issues and downstream flooding. Some are also concerned about losing the forested area in the neighbourhood.

READ: Development proposal in Courtenay draws mixed reviews

Silverado proposes to detain stormwater in a new facility south of the subject property, within the regional district. It also proposes to remove half to two-thirds of the remaining trees on the property. The company has also offered a contribution to an Affordable Housing Amenity Reserve Fund (about $225,000), and an affordable housing unit to the Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness Society.

“I think this is a very large development on the edge of town,” Coun. Melanie McCollum said at the Feb. 18 meeting. “It has me scratching my head as to why we would enthusiastically add 330 units to an area that is not close to transportation, is not close to amenities, and is a 30-minute walk from a grocery store.”

Though she’s not opposed to a development at the site, McCollum feels the amenity contributions are the “bare minimum” of what the City can expect from a rezoning.

Ian Buck, director of development services, said the $225,000 is on par with other developments. Proposed park improvements, he added, are above the minimum standard.

As for tree retention, McCollum questions why council would agree to have the small number of remaining mature firs cut down for the sake of additional homes. Coun. Wendy Morin concurs that “we need to preserve as many trees as possible.”

Coun. Doug Hillian said the biggest concern at the public hearing, by far, was in relation to water. He feels comprehensive stormwater management will address the problems.

“We don’t want to be responsible for approving a major development that creates ongoing problems for people who live downstream,” Hillian said.

Buck notes two confluences of water at nearby Parry Place. One comes from Pond 20 at Crown Isle. The other originates from The Park at Crown Isle golf course. Both are headwaters of Brooklyn Creek.

“Where the ultimate source of flooding is coming from, I don’t know that we can answer without doing further analysis,” Buck said. “Detailed stormwater design will address that.”

Coun. Manno Theos said the project would increase the tax base, and offer a diversity of housing not seen in the area. He feels the area offers walkability to schools and shopping, and notes the proximity of the hospital.

“I think there are some very strong points to look at here,” said Theos, who is concerned the application is months away from being approved. “We’re stretching this proposal.”

“I’m not opposed to development, in fact I’m very pro-development,” Coun. David Frisch said. “I’d just like to see us change, and we progress in a way that’s beneficial in the long run.”

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