Proposed wellness centre welcomed by Courtenay council

Courtenay council praised a proposed two-building wellness centre planned for land near the new Comox Valley Hospital site.

THIS ARTIST RENDERING shows what a proposed wellness centre project could look like on Mission Road

Courtenay council praised a proposed two-building wellness centre project planned for land near the new Comox Valley Hospital site and Queneesh Elementary School.

The project’s zoning and Official Community Plan amendments received unanimous approval from council, passing first and second reading Monday, and a public hearing is scheduled at City Hall (830 Cliffe Ave.) on Feb. 4 at 5 p.m.

Currently, 2525 Mission Rd. is zoned for light industrial and service commercial use; if the amendments go through the land would be zoned for commercial use in the new Comprehensive Development Twenty Four Zone. The property is being used as a storage yard and is undeveloped.

Tom Moore of Moore Architecture in Victoria presented the project to council noting most of the centre’s focus would be on medical professional services.

“What we’re really looking at doing here is providing a high-quality wellness centre, really focused on medical services,” he said, adding that doesn’t discount other uses, like a coffee shop. But, “we feel very strongly that over time, and our project is designed to go over 50 to 75 years, that this is something that specialists, doctors, medical services community will want to embrace and be a part of.”

The buildings would be four storeys high with stepped roofs, and would feature a modern look with plenty of windows and energy efficiencies throughout the design. One building would be about 28,000 square feet and the other would be about 30,000 s.f.

The entrance would be off Mission Road, and the plans include 180 parking stalls, with 80 of those underground.

The land slated for the project is right next to Queneesh Elementary School, and sits on the border of the residential area northwest from the chosen hospital site.

Moore noted two open houses have already been held, and proponents have had a number of meetings with the Comox Valley School District.

He noted the buildings could act as a buffer between the new hospital and the residential area. The project would include a bicycle and pedestrian path from the wellness centre to the hospital to connect the two, (as well as North Island College), and discourage people from cutting through the school property.

In response to concerns from the school district, the proponent has offered to install a raised centre median island, a raised crosswalk, speed humps and new signage on Mission Road to increase pedestrian safety.

Moore also noted “significant economic impacts” for Courtenay like an estimated $225,000 per year in tax revenue to the City, 130 person-years of work during construction and 200 to 300 permanent jobs.

Councillors were very pleased with the proposed project.

“I’m very much in favour of this project,” said Coun. Starr Winchester. “I look forward to working together with them (proponents) and I think that it will work very well with the hospital — and I’m pleased to see all the work he has done with the neighbours and, in particular, the school.”

Coun. Jon Ambler pointed out the land is currently zoned for industrial, noting examples of acceptable current uses like a commercial laundry or a manufacturing facility — and developers wouldn’t have to ask the City “Mother may I” for those uses.

“It’s a large project, it’s an important project, and I look forward to hearing what the public has to say, but certainly it’s hit all the things that I’m concerned about,” he said.

The applicant has offered a $50,000 contribution to homelessness initiatives in Courtenay.

Just Posted

A talent in the making

Pats consider 16-year-old a leader

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

Potlatch 67-67:

This is the third part of a three-part June series looking at… Continue reading

Comox Valley Schools to see trustee shakeup next fall

Four of seven trustees have stated they will not run for re-election in October

UPDATED: Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Public to have say about pot

Cannabis Act has passed third reading

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of Vancouver Island couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Most Read