A proposed development at 440 Island Hwy. W. in Parksville would incorporate a dedicated parkland with a waterway and nature trail. The proponent has applied to the city for a zoning amendment and subdivision at the currently vacant site. — Design concept submitted by Radcliffe Development Corp.

Parksville developer brings back housing project

Parkland, waterway would be incorporated into subdivision

Nearly a decade after walking away from a proposed subdivision development, a Parksville developer was back before council to pitch a new version.

Garwin Weurch of Radcliffe Development Corp. appeared as a delegation during the regular meeting of Parksville city council Monday, Dec. 18, to outline a mixed residential-commercial development at 440 Island Hwy. W. Radcliffe is applying for a zoning amendment and subdivision at the site, a process the company scrapped during the economic downturn of 2008.

“I was here (on council) the last time for this proposal and was really excited,” Coun. Sue Powell said. “Then 2008 happened. I think you’ve taken a situation and made it really appealing.”

Coun. Teresa Patterson acknowledged “times have changed” since the economy’s slump in 2008, and asked Weurch whether the new development proposal reflects a healthy market.

“Yes,” Weurch said. “All private development is driven by market conditions. When the lights went out in 2008, so did we.”

The current proposal differs from the earlier application in a pair of key respects. The new development would re-route an open drainage ditch running through the lot and convert it into an urban stream running through a parkland. Also, the ground floor of one of the three, four-storey buildings would be designated for commerical use.

Weurch told councillors invasive species would be removed from the streamside and replaced with a riparian, urban forest. A walking trail would follow the course of the strream, with a trailhead at Highway 19A.

The development plan designs shared with council Monday indicated three, 4,088 square metre buildings, each four storeys high.

Two of the buildings would be residential apartments, while the third, fronting onto Highway 19A, would feature three storeys of residential apartments above the commercial floor.

Council approved six recommendations from staff, requiring the developer hold a public open house; requiring an updated traffic and parking analysis; an updated fire flow analysis, provide a maintenance cost assessment for the water channel and that, upon receipt of these items, staff be directed to prepare the zoning and development amendment bylaw.

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