The Onni development may change again to include more units and hook up to Sechelt’s sewer system.
What was originally a proposal for 32 high-end units at the site between the Blue Heron Restaurant and Choquer’s Machine Shop on Sechelt Inlet Road was changed to a 104-unit proposal last year.
A development permit for the 104 units was approved by council in June, 2011 but it stipulated Onni must build a package sewage treatment system on site, which came with a hefty price tag — about $3 million.
Developers entered into discussions with the District and now want the option to build 116 units and install a sewer main extension to the area, which is currently lacking sewer access.
At Wednesday’s committee of the whole meeting, development planner Angela Letman explained Onni wants four years to build the extension to make sure they sell enough homes to warrant the expenditure. If not, they may go back to the 104-unit plan.
An agreement to that effect has been drafted, and councillors recommended approval of the plan and the amended development permits necessary to put it into action on Sept. 12.
Their recommendation will come back to the next regular council meeting for formal adoption.
Councillors accepted an 83-page report on proposed solutions to strengthen the Trail Bay foreshore and protect it from future storm damage, but they asked for more time to digest it.
Coun. Doug Hockley suggested council take until next month to peruse the document.
“I think that’s an excellent idea. It gives us the opportunity when we are at UBCM [Union of B.C. Municipalities] to talk to some of the other coastal communities and look into the possibility of maybe some grant funding,” Coun. Alice Lutes said.
Councillors decided to waive a total of $15,191.69 in back taxes and $3,286.77 in interest and penalties owed by Suncoast Racquet Club at Wednesday’s committee meeting.
The money was owed as a result of misplaced tax exemption forms that didn’t end up getting filed with the District in 2010.
Councillors first questioned the group’s ability to pay the charges, but after hearing the organization is carrying about $650,000 in debt for the construction of their building behind the Sechelt arena, the fees were waived.
Coun. Mike Shanks asked council to look at extending the government docks in Porpoise Bay to allow more moorage at the site. He said he was told a total of $50,000 is sitting in a fund for the upgrade.
“We’ve been wanting to extend the dock facilities in Porpoise Bay to accommodate more moorage and to make it easier for people when they are launching boats,” Shanks said.
Council voted to have staff review the status of the dock extension effort and report back on whether the funds can be used to have some work done soon.
Caviar Cup relay
Coun. Hockley pitched an idea for a relay race that could be sponsored by Target Marine Hatcheries, which he called the Caviar Gold Cup. He suggested each team have seven members: a cross-country runner, speed walker, cross-country cyclist, distance swimmer, wheelchair racer and two kayakers.
He wants to see the race held on the first Saturday in June in coordination with the new National Health and Fitness day being pitched by MP John Weston.
Council was supportive of the idea but Coun. Chris Moore noted he would like to see it called the Sechelt Gold Cup instead, to give the District more recognition.
In the end all agreed to have staff create a business plan for the event, to be brought to a future meeting for more discussion.
Hockley asked council to look at installing solar powered lights on top of the two carved entrance signs to Sechelt to make the boundaries of the town more visible at night.
Council asked staff to report back on the financial implications of the request.
Mani’s last day
Mayor John Henderson thanked Emanuel Machado publicly for his service, noting that Sept. 12 was his last day with the District of Sechelt. Machado, formerly the manager of sustainability and special projects with the District of Sechelt, will now take up his position as chief administrative officer for the Town of Gibsons.