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Public hearing scheduled for rezoning of former Gibsons restaurant

The owner of 426 Gower Point Road plans to convert the vacant first storey into a secondary suite 
A public hearing will be held on Sept. 5 on the potential future of the former Europa Restaurant. 

A public hearing will be held on Sept. 5 on the potential future of the former Europa Restaurant. 

The building at 426 Gower Point Road has had a vacant first storey since the restaurant closed in 2010, with a residence above. A report included in the agenda of the July 18 committee of the whole meeting states the owners have no intention of using the commercial space for commercial purposes and the owners want to make the building fully residential with a secondary suite for extended family. 

The applicant is requesting to change the zoning from mixed use commercial back to Single Family Residential Zone 2 (R-2), which will also require an amendment to the Official Community Plan (OCP).

Mayor Silas White expressed his concern about down zoning, especially as the OCP will be reviewed soon. A town planner said it makes sense to go back to the property’s original R2 zoning or a cluster zone. The outcome will be whether or not the owner will be allowed a building permit to convert to a secondary suite.

Coun. Christi Thompson asked for clarification on whether the property would be used for family members or as a rental. Staff confirmed it would be for family. 

Coun. David Croal noted the building’s lower level has been vacant for some time, and spoke in favour of creating some housing. 

Council gave the application first and second reading at the July 25 council meeting, along with consideration for the Waste Management Plan and Town’s Financial Plan in conjunction with an Official Community Plan (OCP) Amendment Bylaw. 

The public hearing will take place at 6:45 p.m. on Sept. 5. Notice of the public hearing will be mailed to neighbouring properties within 100 metres and be advertised in the newspaper.