The director of French Creek House Ltd. held an informal information meeting April 26 about the possible development of the site at the marina. — Lauren Collins photo

The director of French Creek House Ltd. held an informal information meeting April 26 about the possible development of the site at the marina. — Lauren Collins photo

French Creek plan in the works

More than 200 people attended information session

An informal information meeting for a possible development at the French Creek marina drew an overwhelming response, said one of the organizers.

The meeting was held April 26 at French Creek Marine Pub, to let people know about possible plans for the French Creek marina area. The possible development, which hasn’t yet gone to the Regional District of Nanaimo board, could have up to 171 residential units comprised of townhouses, duplexes and condominiums, said Quinn Griesdale, French Creek House Ltd. director. It could also include up to 30,000 sq. ft. of commercial space.

Griesdale said he sent out email invitations to the meeting, but the number of RSVPs he received “kind of paled in comparison.” He said about 200 people showed up to the meeting.

Griesdale said he received more than 200 comment cards from attendees, addressing some of the concerns about a possible development at that location.

“The majority of the comments were water, the smell from the treatment plant and the third one was traffic.”

As for addressing the three major concerns, Griesdale said Epcor, which operates water services in French Creek, has told some of his engineers that there is enough water to supply a possible increase. For the traffic, Griesdale said he’s getting a traffic impact assessment done, but he hasn’t received the report back yet. He said the smell is “another matter altogether.”

Griesdale said the project is “basically in its infancy” and isn’t at the point of public consultations. He said he’s working toward submitting an application to the regional district.

The land, which stretches from Highway 19A along Lee Road to the water and then across to Columbia Drive, has been owned by French Creek House for nearly 40 years, Griesdale said. He said his uncle, John Moore, was the owner of French Creek House, and had “big plans for the whole space” years ago.

Now that Griesdale is at the helm, he said he wants to design the area to be a focal point for French Creek.

“Traditionally, the zoning has been resort/commercial which doesn’t do a whole lot for the community 10 months of the year.”

He said he wants to create an “attractive and interesting place year round.”

People can visit www.frenchcreekhouse.com, which now has updated information about the proposed development. According to the website, there will be three elements to the property: French Creek trails, estuary estates and French Creek village.

The trails, said Griesdale, are already in use by the public, but with this development he said he wants to formalize a trail network.

The estuary estates could include seven single-storey townhouses and 18 two-storey townhouses. The village area could include residential and commercial properties.