The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) planning and development committee decided last week to proceed to the next step — which will include a public information meeting — on a rezoning application for Goldmoss Gallery in Roberts Creek.
A crowd of more than 20 people, composed in part of artists supporting the application and neighbours opposed to it, attended the July 17 meeting.
The gallery is located in the larger of two houses at 2840 and 2842 Lower Road in the R1 zone and has been operating for more than four years. The applicants keep poultry on the property and the proposed rezoning would also make that practice a permitted use.
“The Roberts Creek official community plan (OCP) supports both art galleries and keeping of poultry within residential zones; however, to date, the zoning bylaw has not been amended to reflect these uses within the R1 zone,” senior planner Allen Andrew said in his report to the committee.
Allen’s report proposed the creation of a “residential-assembly-commercial” zone, but Roberts Creek director Donna Shugar recommended the name be changed to “residential/art gallery,” which the committee agreed was more appropriate.
Shugar also requested the committee drop “film airings” as a permitted use, noting that the zoning remains with the land.
“If film airings are stated as a permitted use, what would stop another owner from turning this into a cinema?” she asked.
Other changes to the draft bylaw would limit live music events to four events per year and prohibit amplification if the events are outdoors.
Applicant Lee Roberts told the committee he had implemented parking control measures after receiving a single complaint during the 2012 Art Crawl and had never received a noise complaint over receptions or other events.
The previous week, he said, he had canvassed the neighbourhood, talking to residents in 54 out of 68 homes, and 51 of them supported the spot zoning in principle.
Adjacent property owner Monica Petreny, describing the area as a highly congested residential neighbourhood, said she and other neighbours felt the gallery was in a “completely wrong location” and was affecting their private lives.
Neighbours have counted more than 60 cars at a time parked on the road for special gallery events, she said.
“How can you go from R1 to commercial just two years after adopting a new OCP?” she asked the committee.
The committee agreed the public should have the opportunity to weigh in on the application, and voted to send the amended bylaw to the board for first reading.
A public information meeting will be held prior to consideration of second reading.
© Coast Reporter