Neighbours protest, but Comox council approves ‘good project’

Comox council gave the green light to a facilitate a three-lot, bare land strata subdivision for single-family development on Queens Avenue.

Comox council gave the green light to a facilitate a three-lot, bare land strata subdivision for single-family development on Queens Avenue, despite a rally by neighbours at Wednesday’s council meeting.

Neighbours voiced their opposition to Don Grant’s development permit and development variance permit applications to create the stratas at 1865 Queens Ave., as they noted they do not want to see an increase in traffic and potential water and soil impact on neighbouring homes.

Grant noted in his presentation to council he wants to make the best use of the property (which currently has a home on the land) by rejuvenating the craftsman home, by increasing the tax base without increasing services, and allowing the design to have little impact on the neighbourhood.

“One of the goals of the OCP (official community plan) is to have the design maximize the zoning density,” said Grant. “The project will add $32,000 to the DCC (development cost charges) fund.”

The variance permit is to reduce the minimum parcel frontage from 20 metres to seven metres and to reduce the minimum required front setback from 7.5 metres to three metres.

Adjacent landowners asked council following Grant’s presentation to reconsider the applications, as the argued they had little time to gather and exchange ideas and collectively compile their concerns.

“We sought out our home on Queens Avenue because it was pristine, quirky, and we found a place of our dreams,” said neighbour Peter Wilson, who added there could be a four-fold increase of vehicle traffic on the pedestrian-friendly street.

Marvin Kamenz, planner for the Town, told council in a presentation that current zoning on the property allows the owner to remove all trees or structures if he chooses to do so, and the current proposal considers an alternative plan.

“I understand the neighbourhood has concerns, but with the limitations that are upon us, I don’t see that a whole lot can change,” said Coun. Patti Fletcher. “I think what’s been done here is a good project considering what could have happened.

“This could be subdivided, the trees could all be gone … is the neighbourhood going to change with a few more homes? Yes … but overall I think the community will benefit.”

Fletcher added the project will add to infill, could bring more people downtown and builds on existing infrastructure.

The motion was carried after Coun. Tom Grant declared a conflict of interest and removed himself from the discussion and vote.

The arborist’s report states Tom Grant of Kokomo Investments Ltd. is the client who wishes to subdivide the property.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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