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Gibsons briefs: Parkland zoning changes referred to public hearing

A bylaw that would increase the approved density of the Parkland subdivision but by fewer units than in the original rezoning proposal was referred to an Oct. 5 public hearing
Gibsons Town Hall
Gibsons Town Hall.

A bylaw that would increase the approved density of the Parkland subdivision but by fewer units than in the original rezoning proposal was referred to an Oct. 5 public hearing.

At the Sept. 21 meeting, council gave two readings to the bylaw, with Coun. Annemarie De Andrade voting in opposition. She said she is maintaining her stance to not support zoning amendments until more information on the state of the community water supply is known.

The bylaw proposes rezoning lot 37 on Celia Crescent to accommodate five structures containing 18 units of cluster housing. The request to have adjacent lot 38 also rezoned for 20 cluster housing units was withdrawn. Both lots are currently zoned for single-family and duplex units and lot 38 will retain that zoning.

Community comments and debate at committee meetings held earlier in September on traffic congestion and the lack of road access onto Reed Road for the subdivision resulted in the developer amending the application.

At a town committee meeting held earlier in the day, Nicole Hagedorn, speaking on behalf of the developer, said they have installed curbing and other infrastructure along Reed Road to Park Road and that there is no space for a second access road from the development. She said removing the ask for cluster housing on lot 38 was done to help address concerns voiced by residents in the first three phases of the subdivision and to keep the final phase moving ahead.

“We don’t build the homes and it does not make any difference economically to us which way we go. We were doing this [rezoning] at the request of the town to help provide affordable housing,” said Hagedorn.

“I’m not into a battle or a huge time war. My dad is now 81 years old; he started this [subdivision] when he was 60. We want to finish this.”

Shaw Road Affordable Housing

Representatives of the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society and New Commons Development advised council that a building permit application for the 40-unit affordable housing project on town-owned property at 571 Shaw Rd. is being discussed with town staff. The two groups said at the meeting that they hope to begin construction in 2022 and to be back before council with another update in October. 

Andy Broderick of New Commons Development explained that after a couple of rounds of unsuccessful grant applications, the group is close to finalizing financing plans for the $14-million project. They anticipate a response to their HousingHub application to BC Housing for low-cost financing in October. He said a decision on a grant application to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for the project is slated to be made by the end of the year.   

He confirmed that once complete, all units in the new building would be offered for rent at below market rates.

Holland Lands

At the meeting, council agreed to spend up to $20,000 for planning and presentation material on proposals for the redevelopment of the Holland Lands. The money will be reallocated from within its current operating budget.

The funds will pay for a consultant to work with the Holland Lands Cultural Corner revitalization select committee at its Oct. 20 meeting. It will include the development of artist’s renderings of redesign concepts that will be put on display for community input. 

Council set up the committee early in June to study the feasibility of revitalizing the area while meeting the need for more space for the town’s tenants on the lands, which include the Gibsons Public Library, School District No. 46, the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archive, and Huckleberry Daycare.

After committee chair Coun. Aleria Ladwig clarified that the current proposal includes keeping town hall and the library on the Holland Lands, Coun. Stafford Lumley responded that was “a ludicrous decision.”

In opposing the motion on the spending, Lumley said his concern was “fiscal responsibility.” He said, “I do not agree that town hall, the library and the school district buildings need to be on this valuable piece of property that could be collecting taxes for the town.”