Parksville city council has reconsidered its decision to amend a bylaw that would permit out-of-zone carriage houses in the downtown core.
In the area, single-family dwellings in the R1 Zone are allowed a carriage, or coach house, but properties in the C3 Zone are not.
Mayor Ed Mayne put forth a notice of motion on Sept. 8 to direct staff to prepare a zoning and development bylaw amendment for council to consider. On Oct. 18, council voted to not change the zoning bylaw after receiving a letter from the Parksville Downtown Business Association (PDBA).
The PDBA letter, penned by secretary-treasurer Michelle Jones, stated the proposal does not support their shared goal of the revitalization of the city’s commercial core. Among several other reasons, the letter stated carriage houses would “affect the assessed values of other commercial properties” and “send a signal to potential investors and current property owners that the redevelopment and revitalization of the downtown core into a more vibrant and thriving commercial area is not a priority for the city of Parksville.”
Mayne said he “strenuously disagreed” with most of the points made in the letter.
“Carriage houses provided the lowest possible cost for somebody to move into the downtown core… It’s not that much difference, in time, whether we do it for one carriage house application or if we do it for the whole of the downtown core, or if we do it for all of Parksville,” he said. “Maybe that’s the answer to this, and maybe it’s not… But in my mind, if we want to do what we want to do here and put people into the downtown, this is, although it’s a very small portion of it, still striving to accomplish that. And it is the least expensive way that we can do this for people.”
At the Oct. 18 meeting, Coun. Teresa Patterson said she would prefer carriage house requests be dealt with on an individual case-by-case scenario, instead of amending the bylaw.
Patterson’s motion, seconded by Coun. Mark Chandler, to remove Mayne’s bylaw amendment proposal from the 2021 work-plan, was passed with Mayne and Coun. Al Greir in opposition.