Only a handful of people came to the public information meeting on July 22 about the District of Sechelt’s plans for Lot L, but some had big concerns.
The 3.5 hectare lot off Dusty Road, which was purchased by the previous council as the location for a new sewage treatment plant, is zoned RR-2 and designated in the official community plan to be used for civic, institutional or utility purposes.
Sechelt is currently using the site to temporarily house its public works department, which had to be relocated last year when a new sewage treatment plant was built at the Ebbtide Road location (where the department used to operate).
The District plans to build a new facility for the parks and public works department on the easterly 1.9 hectares of Lot L in the future, but council also wants to subdivide the remaining 1.6 hectares of the lot into two properties and rezone the entire area to industrial I-7.
Development planner Angela Letman told the few gathered Tuesday night that the I-7 zoning was chosen because it better fit the proposed usage by parks and public works, it would create more industrial property in the District, and it was in line with the abutting property’s zoning.
“So it allows light industrial, building supply, transportation, warehousing including a terminal, a retail wholesale office when it’s ancillary to those above, a machine repair shop, a restaurant, retail service of used cars and trucks, an institution and one caretaker dwelling and accessory building,” Letman said. “It does not include a fitness centre, airports or heliports, a hotel or motel, funeral parlour, crematorium, wood processing, auto wrecking yards, aquaculture processing or a veterinary hospital.”
One type of business allowed in industrial areas in Sechelt is medical marijuana production. Coun. Tom Lamb previously said a medical marijuana producer was interested in the location.
A concerned citizen at the information meeting noted he lives near the proposed new industrial properties and was against the idea of that usage in the location.
“I’ve got kids and I know my neighbour’s got kids and I’m directly kitty corner to this,” he said.
He asked why a playing field couldn’t go in that location instead as East Porpoise Bay is void of playing fields, but Letman noted that question would be better answered at the public hearing on Tuesday, July 29.
One man questioned the motive of council for wanting to change the zoning and create new properties that could be sold in the future.
“It appears to me that this is nothing more than a short-term financial plan and the short-term financial plan is to change the OCP, up-zone it to industrial and then sell off half the property in order to make a contribution to pay for the development of the works yard. That seems to be the way this council goes about doing things,” he said.
Residents were encouraged by Letman to bring their concerns forward at the public hearing.
“You will have an opportunity to come and provide comment to the council at that time and if you want to do it by mail or by hand or by email or facsimile it needs to be in to us by 4 p.m. on the day of the public hearing,” Letman said.
The public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 29, and will be held in the community use room at the District of Sechelt offices.
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