Why is Gibsons’s town council still negotiating with a developer on the Stonehurst condo project?
A recent Coast Reporter’s “Question of the Week” asked if Gibsons should sell the town’s property and two treed public parking areas on School Road to a condo developer. Out of the 634 people who voted, one of the largest number of responses ever to this newspaper’s straw survey, over 80 per cent overwhelming voted “No.”
Yet at Gibsons’s recent council meeting, the project passed first reading and the developer was asked to spend more money and resubmit new drawings with some changes to his condo development. A traffic impact study will also be commissioned to determine effects (especially in winter) of so many vehicles accessing the steepest part of School Road. Council formally directed staff to keep working with the developer so the property could eventually be rezoned, and eventually get approval to change the Official Community Plan and build a condo development.
The town has tentatively agreed to sell the lot but only “subject to rezoning.” The developer was also asked to submit other community amenity contributions(CACs) that would benefit Gibsons in addition to spending $3 million on the Stonehurst property to build hotel rooms, a restaurant, commercial kitchen, and a bistro.
Council thought converting the old building into profitable businesses wasn’t enough of a CAC. More time and money is being spent by Gibsons’s staff and council as well as the developer, architect and surveyors to further negotiations that should have ceased months ago. There may be public consultation prior to council’s second reading of the rezoning application and OCP changes. If so, Gibsons’ council will hopefully hear from enough people to finally tell the developer that the town’s property is not for sale.
Denis Prevost, Gibsons