The Seascape Crescent condominium project was given a final stamp of approval during a Sechelt Council meeting on Wednesday night. Faced with a council split down the middle over the approval of the final stages of the application, which included a zoning bylaw and development permit, Mayor Cam Reid cast the deciding vote in favour of the condos. As in previous votes on the project, councillors Darren Inkster, Warren Allan and Mike Shanks voted against the condos, while Ann Kershaw, Ed Steeves and Barry Poole voted in favour of the development.
Inkster made a motion to table the fourth reading, saying he did not feel comfortable giving the project fourth reading at that particular time.
"There were changes made to the building," Inkster said. "The community hasn't had a chance to respond."
Kershaw said she has supported the project since the beginning because it encourages people to live in downtown Sechelt and will help establish a vibrant downtown atmosphere. "The people will come first and then the business will follow," Kershaw said. "It will be interesting to see what the community's reaction will be."
Reid said he was pleased that developer Dean Lundy was willing to compromise with district officials to ensure the building would be attractive on the waterfront. He assured Lundy that the division of the councillors' vote should not suggest disapproval of the project. The 1.13-hectare lot lies between Inlet Avenue and the Driftwood Inn. Lundy plans to build two four-storey condominiums along the Boulevard and a three-storey commercial/residential building on the corner of Inlet Avenue and Teredo Street. The project also includes a teahouse at the end of Inlet Avenue near the waterfront.
Lundy expressed his delight with the outcome of Wednesday's decision, saying he is very happy and it has been a long process. He believes the condos will appeal to people who are looking to sell their homes in search of a low-maintenance waterfront residence that is central to many amenities.
"It might be too much work to upkeep a huge property," Lundy said. "The development is situated close to everything including a hospital and medical facilities."
Lundy said the next step in the development process will involve creating some extensive engineering and architectural drawings. A geotechnical engineer will also assess the site and prepare a report. Once the drawings are complete, Lundy will apply for a building permit from the district. "The whole process should take five months," Lundy said. "I hope construction can start by the end of June."
The development will contain 56 suites ranging in price from $350,000 to $500,000 depending on the size of the unit. Lundy estimates the suites will range in size from 1,420 to 2,200 square feet.
"We'll be starting pre-sales soon," Lundy said. "I think when it's all completed the community will be happy with it."