There is a plan currently underway to build a gas service station, convenience store, cafe and artist studio on two properties near the Horne Lake Road-Inland Highway 19 junction.
David Woodman, on behalf of the Saa’men Economic Development Partnership, has applied to the Regional District of Nanaimo to rezone properties to allow a commercial development in the area.
The properties, which are currently vacant and entirely vegetated, are located at the southwest of the Inland Island Highway 19 and north of rural residential properties.
At RDN’s Electoral Area Services Committe meeting July 14 staff recommended the board introduce the zoning amendment bylaw and read twice. A public hearing will also be held prior to third reading.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, a public information meeting was not held for the proposal. But the RDN did an online community engagement that allowed the public to submit concerns, feedback and input as well as questions about the proposal.
Through the RDN’s Get Involved page, the pubic was able to access information and professional studies online that would normally be viewed only at the RDN administration office. Close to 300 people visited the website and according to RDN staff, majority of the comments received support the proposal.
Last year, the Saa’men hosted an open house at the Lighthouse Community Hall on Nov. 22, 2019 that drew approximately 100 people with 59 submitting feedback forms.
RDN staff indicated that the project is in line with economic development initiatives of the Qualicum First Nation and is consistent with the strategic plan.