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George report late due to complexity

Gibsons
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The planning report to Gibsons council on the George Hotel and condo development has been delayed until next month due to the project’s complexity, chief administrative officer Mani Machado said Tuesday.

“We were hoping to have it today, but the timelines were too tight,” Machado said.

The report was expected to come before council on Dec. 17, but the aim now is to have it presented at the first committee of the whole meeting in the New Year, which falls on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Machado said there was “nothing specific” that was holding up the application.

“It’s the complexity of the project and the fact that it involves a multitude of processes that require coordination,” he said.

These include the closure of Winn Road and changes to water lots, land lots and dedicated parkland.

“Most developments have one or two of those things. It’s a matter of the location,” Machado said.

Although the public hearing phase of the application is months away, the Town has been receiving letters “in the dozens,” both for and against the project.

“It’s fair to say it’s been a mix. The public response has been larger than normal, but that’s to be expected for a project such as the George,” Machado said. “In the spirit of making information available, we’re responding to every letter that’s arrived, acknowledging the letter and reminding folks that there will be a public hearing when they will have further input.”

Trying to rally opposition to the project in its current form, the Gibsons Alliance of Business & Community has held two balloon events on the waterfront to draw attention to the project’s height.

It has also sent out emails encouraging people to write council “letting them know that you expect them to ensure the developer plays by the rules and that this project meets current OCP and zoning bylaw policies and regulations.”

Supporting the project, the Gibsons and District Chamber of Commerce (GDCC) posted a statement on its website late last month expressing confidence in the Town carrying out its due diligence on the proposal and protecting the public interest.

“We have been fortunate that a local business person has brought forward a project that meets almost all of the 23 objectives listed in the OCP for harbour area development,” the statement said. “We understand that the size of the project is larger than many had anticipated, but the GDCC agrees that the benefits of meeting almost all the other objectives of the OCP are worth making an exception for this project.”


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