Old plan resurfaces in Parksville

185-unit mixed use development back on the front burner

AUREN RUVINSKY

writer@pqbnews.com

There is a lot of interest in the corner of Despard Avenue and the Alberni Highway in Parksville where a new Quality Foods has been proposed, a health centre is being built and an old proposal has resurfaced.

Brian Henning of Williamson and Associates presented an official community plan amendment (OCP) proposal at the Sept. 17 regular council meeting on behalf of property owner InSight Holdings.

InSight presented preliminary plans for a 185 unit mixed use development on the forested northeast corner in early 2009, but little has happened publicly since.

Henning said they have been working on the project for over a year but have run into complications planning the long-term project during the city’s OCP update process.

Working at the conceptual design stage, Henning envisions a larger neighbourhood commercial component facing the main intersection transitioning down through residential buildings to some kind of patio-style homes adjacent to the existing single family homes on Moss and Stanford avenues.

The OCP amendment only looks at wider land use issues and didn’t included details about the proposed development but Henning later told The NEWS they hope to build an assisted living complex on the Alberni Highway and a multi-unit residential building on Despard Avenue.

George Hanson, development manager for InSight Developments, had been open about their frustration with a “lack of process and shifting requirements from the city” in the past, which the city acknowledged at a time of staff shortages.

In December. 2010 Hanson said the lack of progress was “a direct result of the city’s inability to deal with our development application in a manner acceptable to our professional and business requirements.”

The OCP change would allow the senior care facility and multi-family residential components.

At its regular meeting Oct. 1, city council unanimously directed staff to start the statutory process and encourage the applicant to host a public open house.

 

If the OCP ammendment application is successful, council will ask staff to incorporate the new land use policy in the new OCP delaying it a month or two past its projected year-end completion.