A graphic shows a hedge five years after planting at the proposed Holiday Inn Express. Graphic supplied

A graphic shows a hedge five years after planting at the proposed Holiday Inn Express. Graphic supplied

Holiday Inn Express proposed near Chances Casino Courtenay

The City of Courtenay has received a mixed bag of opinions about a Holiday Inn Express proposed at the corner of Hunt and Ryan roads, opposite of Chances Casino.

Sixteen people, including staff and council members, participated in a March 3 public hearing about the four-storey, 93-unit project.

Those in support like the economic potential in terms of providing short- and long-term employment, and promoting tourism.

“We need more hotels, industry in this area to broaden our tax base,” a letter writer states.

The naysayers don’t like the potential for noise, traffic and smells from commercial kitchens.

“Even with the hotel providing its own parking, there will be so much increased traffic that it will be even more congested in a small area,” Williams Road resident Beth Falch-Nielsen said.

Since B.C. is under essential-only travel restrictions, Katie Oppenheimer said that increasing capacity for travellers is non-sensical and unfair to businesses that will be “pressed to survive after emergency orders are lifted.” The hotel, she added, will block views and decrease property values.

In response to concerns from council about traffic and impacts to neighboring properties, the applicant is proposing to plant a hedge at least three metres high, and install a 1.8-metre sound attenuation fence along the eastern property line. There are also upgrades planned to Tunner Road, sidewalks, and right turns in and out of the property.

Council will consider third reading of the application at an upcoming meeting.

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