Location close to mall lauded

Parksville development will have 43 lots between Stanhope Road and Foster Park

Parksville city council has advanced a small-lot development on  Stanhope Road to the zoning and OCP amendment process.

The 2.2 ha (5.4 acre) property runs between Stanhope Road and Foster Park near Wembley Mall in the city’s northwest corner.

Coun. Bill Neufeld said he liked the proposal, which fits with the form and character the city is trying to foster, but he had concerns about about what he called low development cost charges (DCCs).

Chief administrative officer Fred Manson said the city is currently working toward updating the DCCs, which was last done in 2009, and added that proposals would be grandfathered in with old rates for a year after new ones are introduced anyway.

The staff report says the project will contribute $607,884 in DCCs to cover the cost of the project to the city’s infrastructure.

The report also says that squeezing 43 smaller lots onto the property will contribute approximately $4.7 million more tax revenue than the vacant land or $2.5 million more than a subdivision with the current RS-1 zoning over the average 50 year life of residences.

The lots would range from 331 square metres (3,563 square feet) to 497 square metres (5,350 square feet), considerably smaller than the current single family minimum of 560 square metres but similar to the strata development across the street.

Director of community planning Blaine Russell said lots that size are common in stratas, but this subdivision would offer fee simple lots.

Coun. Carrie Powell Davidson said she liked the proposal, suggesting it is a good location so close to Wembley Mall and said she looks forward to hearing  comments from residents.

Russell pointed out the current OCP and zoning amendment process won’t lock in a specific design or layout for these lots.