A Holiday Inn Express is being proposed near Chances Casino in Courtenay. Black Press file photo

A Holiday Inn Express is being proposed near Chances Casino in Courtenay. Black Press file photo

Hotel proposed near Chances Casino in Courtenay

Construction of a Holiday Inn Express is being proposed at the corner of Hunt and Ryan roads, opposite of Chances Casino, in Courtenay.

At Monday’s meeting, Feb. 1, Courtenay council approved second reading of a rezoning application for the four-storey, 93-unit hotel. The proposal includes an indoor swimming pool, fitness facility, meeting room and breakfast bar. Pending approval, there will be 97 parking stalls and up to 10 electric vehicle charging stations.

The applicants have signed onto Green Engage, a monitoring and management tool that tracks energy, carbon and water usage.

“As we operate and maintain that building, it can get more efficient over time,” Kevin Brooks, senior planner at McElhanney, said in a presentation. “We can reduce greenhouse gases, we can reduce the waste coming from our building and we can reduce the amount of water we use.”

Coun. Doug Hillian noted traffic issues in the area, such as accessing Ryan after motorists have turned off the road.

“The traffic study indicates some intersection failure in the coming years,” Hillian said. “That somehow isn’t consistent with how you characterized this as an ‘ideal site’.”

Brooks said a comprehensive traffic study was revised when the company modified access locations at the site. The study concluded the Back/Ryan Road intersection will start experiencing challenges around 2032. McElhanney provided some recommendations for review, which were met with approval by staff and the Transportation Ministry.

The hotel is expected to provide 47 full-time jobs.

An electronic public hearing will be held before council considers third reading.

Marina Society lease

Council authorized a lease agreement with the Courtenay Marina Society, which has contributed more than $100,000 in recent years to marina facility upgrades at the Air Park, including two docks and a dock entry ramp.

“These upgrades have provided safer access to the city’s waterways for a variety of smaller marine vessels using the facilities,” a staff report states.

The society has committed to leasing the facilities for a minimum of five years. Fees paid to the city are 10 per cent of boat moorage rents.