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Small lot development mulled for Parksivlle

Densification goal for Parksville could be aided by innovative plan

Parksville council heard a proposal for a unique small lot development at Despard Avenue and Corfield Street.

Though the proposed development would have small 330-420 sq.m. lots, they would still be ground oriented, fee simple detached houses with yard or garden spaces, explained consultant Nigel Gray on behalf of Rushan Development Corporation.

The proposed 25 units would require an official community plan (OCP) and zoning amendment for the three currently forested lots totaling 1.7 hectares (4.2 acres).

The properties are currently multi-family and would have to be changed to a new small-lot single family zone.

Gray suggested the small lots fit in with the city’s stated goal of densification and would allow the houses to be built incrementally, including renovations to increase their size later.

Because there is an identified eagle perch tree on the property 21 per cent of it would be set aside as park space and the developer would contribute to a fund for trails in the area that would not be built until the eagles leave.

The current zoning, which is left over from the development of the Bridgewater Lane development across Despard, would allow up to 120 apartments or care facility units.

The report from staff suggests this permitted density “appears somewhat out of place given the present surroundings,” which include single family residential and agricultural land reserve land across Corfield.

The report estimates the small lot development would generate over a million dollars in tax revenue over the average 50 year life of residencies more than the undeveloped land.

The developer would be required to contribute just over $300,000 for upgrading infrastructure including building a sidewalk to Craig Street.

In their committee of the whole council unanimously supported the proposal which will be forwarded to a regular council meeting.