Frustrations with city process results in postponement of subdivision development

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

Silverado Group of Companies has decided to postpone its application to construct a subdivision north of Ryan Road because it cannot obtain approval from the City of Courtenay’s engineering department.

CEO Ron Coulson had hoped to start constructing the 31-lot Rise subdivision by April of this year, in time for the spring real estate market.

In a letter to city CAO David Allen, Coulson claims engineering staff have “continually found reasons why approvals could not happen in a timely and professional manner.”

He believes the city’s process is not working due to unnecessary expenses and unrealistic requirements.

Crown Isle is a subsidiary of Silverado. Along with builders, the companies were planning $15 million worth of investment over the next year. They were also in discussion with a $25-million big box store.

“Virtually every developer, including VIHA, has felt frustration with the engineering department within the City of Courtenay,” Coulson said. “For 26 years all mayors and councils have generally been in full support of our development.”

Lately, however, he says a “quagmire” of bureaucracy has “brought the process to a near standstill.”

At committee of the whole Sept. 29, staff will provide an update on internal improvements to the development process. The meeting will include details about a Development Application Review Team (DART) where various departments collectively review applications, troubleshoot, exchange ideas and identify issues.

“We have new specs and standards coming on that will provide some measure of certainty for what’s required through subdivisions,” Allen said. “Because these things are complex and there’s so many iterations of plans, there’s just a host of details, and those things need to get sorted out. I can assure you that the city is very much interested in working with the development community, and wants to make sure we improve our internal processes.”

He notes a revamped development procedures bylaw that enables permit approval at the department head level, as opposed to council approval.

“We’re going to see some significant change over the next several months,” Allen said.


Just Posted

Courtenay petition to decriminalize all drugs continues to collect signatures

A Courtenay couple is collecting signatures for their petition to decriminalize drugs in Canada

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

Comox residents question redevelopment at emotionally-charged meeting

About 40 people filled the d’Esterre House in response to a community consultation meeting.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Courtenay receives second application for cannabis shop

Just one resident spoke at a Tuesday public hearing in Courtenay council… Continue reading

Most Read