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Adjustments to the Telus Living project: Sechelt council briefs

Briefs from the Dec. 15 District of Sechelt council meeting
N.Sechelt Briefs

Adjustments to Telus Living project

A public hearing date in early 2022 is anticipated for the Telus Living commercial/residential development proposed for Sechelt’s Inlet Avenue.  Council gave staff the nod to set up that event after providing the zoning and official community plan amendment bylaws for the project their first two readings at the Dec. 15 meeting.

Project plans have change since unveiled in Sept. 2021 with the live-work units initially proposed for the building removed.  The number of market rental apartments in the structure has not been finalized but has been capped at 60 by the municipality, with ten per cent of all apartment units to be built to an adaptable standard. Once the proponents finalize that at least 19 residences will be included, they have agreed to pay Sechelt community amenity contributions of $1500 for each unit over that number.

Council’s questions to staff on the proposed project focused on parking provisions. The development proposes to provide one parking space for each residence and five spaces for the building’s main floor commercial area.  Coun. Alton Toth said that in his view, that number of commercial spaces “may come up a bit short” when compared to the public parking demands that the commercial units will create.  Planner Sven Koberwitz responded that those provisions were in line with an existing bylaw that requires one space for each 39 square metres of commercial space.

There were also questions about parking spots with electric vehicle charging capacity at the site.  Koberwitz noted that one of the public parking spots at the site will have a level two charging station.  He also noted that provision for vehicle charging capacity will be included in the tenant parking area at the rear of the building.

Call to retain vehicle parking on Boulevard

Mayor Darnelda Siegers said that discussions about the future of vehicle parking along the waterfront edge of Boulevard will be “interesting”.  At the meeting, Council was asked to continue to allow public vehicle parking along the route by a delegation from resident Elaine Hunter.  In her view, the opportunity for the public to be able to park where they can enjoy ocean views from the comfort and safety of vehicles is important to community mental health.  She provided Council with a link to an online petition that collected 270 signatures in support of her position.

Siegers stated that the municipality had planned to discuss potential changes to the layout of Boulevard with the community in 2021. That consultation did not proceed as the grant application for the project was unsuccessful.

In mid-2021, a delegation before Council presented by two owners of Boulevard properties asked Council to eliminate the vehicle parking along their street’s one-way traffic lane. They asked that the current parking area be re-purposed to create a dedicated lane for pedestrians. 

Ferry Advisory Committee meetings

Coun. Matt McLean, the municipality’s representative on BC Ferries’ (BCF) Southern Sunshine Coast Ferry Advisory Committee, reported that that group’s next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 17 at 4pm. He noted that a meeting had been arranged for mid-December but that event was cancelled as BCF failed to provide advance public notification. 

He reported that due to issues with its online meeting access platform, BCF did not include the option for the public to remotely view a recent meeting of another ferry advisory committee. He said he is unsure if an option of a hybrid in person/online meeting will be available by Jan. 17. 

“I am pushing to make these meetings as publicly accessible as possible, and in a COVID environment that includes having hybrid options,” McLean said.