A concerned resident asks those in attendance at the Neighbourhood Public Meeting July 10 of this year at Willow Point Hall to rise if they want the area in question to remain zoned R-1. The rezoning application was to receive first and second reading this week to be sent to a public hearing, but it don’t even get that far before being shot down by council.

A concerned resident asks those in attendance at the Neighbourhood Public Meeting July 10 of this year at Willow Point Hall to rise if they want the area in question to remain zoned R-1. The rezoning application was to receive first and second reading this week to be sent to a public hearing, but it don’t even get that far before being shot down by council.

Penfield rezoning application doesn’t even make it to first reading

Council hears residents ‘loud and clear’ on Penfield development proposal

Last September, Willow Point residents turned out in droves to tell a developer they weren’t interested in having an area along Penfield Road rezoned to allow for “a mix of single family residences and duplexes.”

They turned out again in similar numbers, with a similar message, when the developer brought them back together this past July after re-designing the proposal.

And as a result, when the rezoning proposal made it to council last week, it was stopped dead in its tracks before it even got to the point of discussion.

The concerns from the residents ranged from traffic increases to where all of the kids would go to school should the density of the neighbourhood be increased.

“If there were 50 units [built], as an example, that could be an extra 100 cars coming and going from that neighbourhood – because everyone seems to have a car each these days – and in my mind, that changes the character of the neighbourhood,” Said neighbourhood resident Natalie Crawshaw when the proposal first came forward.

That kind of development also naturally attracts young families, she added, “which is fine, we’re by no means anti-family – there are lots of young families in this neighbourhood,” but she does point out that Penfield Elementary is already close to capacity, as is Georgia Park Elementary, the next closest elementary school to the properties in question.

“So where are they going to put all those kids?”

The residents were also concerned about the level of consultation and transparency in the process. Despite the public meetings held at the Willow Point Hall, the residents felt their concerns were not being taken seriously.

Jeanette Laverdure of KLP Construction, the proponent of the project, told the Mirror they were trying to help address the serious lack of affordable housing in the city by increasing the density of the area.

“It’s not just people who are low-income, it’s also people who are working two jobs who are having trouble finding affordable housing to purchase or rent,” Laverdure said, pointing to an article in which the mayor himself admitted that the rental and housing affordability in Campbell River has become a “crisis” that is “escalating.”

The rezoning application was to have first and second reading last week, which would see it go to public hearing. But the proposal to do so was only supported by one member of council: Mayor Andy Adams.

“I won’t be supporting the motion,” said Coun. Larry Samson. “I think we’ve heard loud and clear from the residents of this area, and I, for one, don’t feel that there’s a need to go to public hearing.”

Coun. Marlene Wright echoed those sentiments, as did Coun. Charlie Cornfield, who said the proposed development “far exceeds what the neighbourhood is.”

Coun. Ronn Kerr said he drove around the neighbourhood in question earlier that very day, “and I think the status quo up there is quite fine.”

Coun. Coleeen Evans also announced she would not be supporting the motion to give the application first and second reading.

“I guess I’m going to be the lone person on this,” said Mayor Adams. It’s not that he necessarily thought the rezoning was in the community’s best interest, he said, but because he thinks it is council’s responsibility to at least consider things before dismissing them.

“In my 12 years on council,” he continued, “I have always supported first and second reading to move an item forward to public hearing whether I agreed with the proposal or not.

“In this case, I share some of the concerns of council, but I’m going to be consistent,” he said before voting in favour of the motion, which was easily defeated.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Courtenay man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Cole Moore’s sister sets up GoFundMe to help father looking after brother

Rev. Sulin Milne at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox is part of those helping distribute food to those in need within the town. Photo by Jim Peacock
Comox church serving the community with food through COVID-19

“We knew there were so many people who were facing economic challenges …”

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Nineteen people arrested, charges expected in Courtenay house raid

Investigators are continuing to comb through evidence seized

Demonstrators gathered Friday, March 5 at the Courtenay Court House, demanding protection of old-growth forests. Scott Stanfield photo
Concerned citizens march in Courtenay in name of old-growth rainforests

The Comox Valley is one of the B.C. communities engaged in mobilization… Continue reading

LUSH Valley’s partnership with School District 71 this past year helped feed 200 students and families through the Good Food Box program. Screenshot, LUSH Valley/Comox Valley Schools video
LUSH Valley-Comox Valley School Good Food Boxes fed 200 families in 2020

Non-profit organization is looking for new ways to collaborate with school district

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The CVRD building in Courtenay.
Comox Valley organizations in need receive funding

The Comox Valley Regional Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has approved $55,000 in… Continue reading

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

A virtual public hearing for a rezoning application for a Comox property was held on March 3. Black Press file photo
No comments at public hearing for Anderton Road rezoning application

The virtual public hearing was held on March 3 for the Comox properties

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Most Read