New ‘urban village’ in Parksville moves a step closer

City wants to get away from standard strip mall developments

Parksville council gave another nod in the application process for a mixed use development at Stanford Avenue and Island Highway East at their last regular meeting.

With councillor Carrie Powell-Davidson absent, the rest of council unanimously supported sending the application to the required official community plan (OCP) and zoning amendment statutory process.

At the previous committee of the whole council meeting, architect Raymond de Beeld described the proposal as a “mixed urban village,” on behalf of property owner Bruce Alexander who owns Parksville Chrysler across the street.

“We want to try to get away from strip mall development,” de Beeld explained, adding they want to build something different.

The proposed development on two properties totalling 0.8 hectares (2 acres) would include three commercial buildings of one and two stories and a four story residential building with 27 units and commercial on the ground floor with underground parking.

Councillor Sue Powell, who’d missed the previous meeting, had a number of questions about the details of a proposed rain garden and other features including what’s being called “affordable housing.”

There were also concerns expressed by some councillors, and later from the gallery, about the proximity to Agricultural Land Reserve land across from Stanford Avenue and questions about the plan to build as strata units, but rent them as apartments.

Director of community planning Blaine Russell was not in attendance and staff said they couldn’t answer those questions, but pointed out there would be time to get answers as the application process proceeds.

The project is on the agenda for the Aug. 8 Parksville council meeting, at which time it could be sent on to a public hearing. Watch The News for details.


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