Parksville rezoning request gets second reading

Public meeting on medium-density development set for July 5

A zoning amendment bylaw for a proposed medium-density residential development on Hirst Avenue was given second reading by Parksville council last week after the developer addressed concerns raised during first reading in May.

Council advanced the zoning and development amendment bylaw for 451, 461 and 465 Hirst Ave. W. during its June 5 meeting and scheduled a public hearing on the project for July 5.

The second reading came after council approved a follow-up report on the project by community planning director Blaine Russell.

“They needed to address a public open house, and the applicant did that,” Russell told councillors. “Council also requested clarification on off-site services, and the applicant is now in agreeement and in concordance with engineering department requirements.”

Russell said the development would accept a height restriction of 7.5 metres, allowing for structures of no more than two storeys, and that its density would be 33 to 34 units per hectare.

The zoning amendment bylaw, if approved, would change zoning for the property from RS-1 to RS-2.

“If this is approved as-is, would there still be opportunities to work toward getting some assurance on what would actually be built?” acting Mayor Mary Beil asked.

Russell said the amendment under consideration would’t lock in a particular building form, and it would be up to council’s discretion whether it wanted to attach a restrictive covenant.

“The particulars of the development are not part of the rezoning request,” Russell said. “But if anything raises a red flag, it will need to be addressed.”

The July 5 public meeting on the project will be held at 6 p.m. in council chambers at the Parksville Civic and Technology Centre, 100 Jensen Ave. E.

Powell returns to council

Coun. Sue Powell returned to her seat at the council table June 5 for the first time since being recused to seek office in the recent provincial election.

Powell, who ran unsuccessfully for the B.C. NDP against incumbent MLA Michelle Stilwell and B.C. Green Party challenger Glenn Sollitt, was excused in a vote by council after the writ was dropped to open the election on April 11.

The election took place May 9 and Powell remained away through the final vote count on May 24.

“Thank you to the communities of Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Nanaimo for their support during the election,” Powell said. “It was exciting and exhilarating.

“I’d also like to thank council for allowing me to leave and thanks to Coun. (Teresa) Patterson and Coun. (Kirk) Oates for taking over my responsibilities while I was away.”