Gibsons council gave second reading to a zoning bylaw amendment that will create a new RM-6 zone to allow townhouse and apartment development on smaller lots within an area identified by the town’s official community plan (OCP).
The bylaw would rezone 524 South Fletcher Road to a new RM-6 classification for a proposed three-unit multi-family development. The current C-5 zoning requires ground-floor commercial use.
No one spoke against the proposed rezoning at the Sept. 18 public hearing, but two letters of support sent in 2009 were received by council.
Gord Catherwood, who wrote one of the letters, said he has lived next door to the property for 13-and-a-half years.
“In that time we’ve seen the property in question used for depositing garbage, used for a refuge for discarded cats, and a used car lot. So we’re very in favour of seeing it developed,” Catherwood said. “We wrote our letter of support in 2009 and I wonder why it took three years to bring it to public hearing.”
Pressed by Catherwood for a response, Mayor Wayne Rowe suggested he “corner the corporate officer after we adjourn and she may be able to help you.”
Resident Brian Sadler also addressed council, complimenting municipal planner Michael Epp for “rezoning the zone” instead of the lot.
“It ties in with the densification philosophy that grew several councils back and can do nothing, but improve the lower town,” Sadler said.
Under the proposed bylaw amendment, the RM-6 zone will be allowed in areas designated as low-density multi-family residential one and specifically on smaller parcels located on the southeast side of South Fletcher Road between School Road and Holland Lands.
‘Set the bar higher’
With the Gospel Rock neighbourhood plan going to public hearing on Oct. 11, council has to try harder to find common ground with its citizens on controversial development projects, Coun. Dan Bouman said Tuesday night.
Council formally approved the meeting date, with Bouman and Coun. LeeAnn Johnson voting against it.
“What I’m most uncomfortable about is that this council is going to have to deal with far more complex development proposals in the near future and I hope we can set the bar a little higher in terms of results in resolving issues,” Bouman said.
Johnson pointed out that the public hearing is set for the same night as a Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board meeting, and urged staff to work around overlapping meeting dates in the future.
“Those bodies have commitments and we also have responsibilities,” Johnson said.
Council also ratified an increase in basic parking fines, from $15 to $30, with a $5 discount for early payment, and fines for stopping or parking in a disabled zone, from $15 to $50.