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Major projects move closer to first reading


Two major development proposals in Gibsons are a step closer to first reading.

Director of planning Lesley-Ann Staats presented the latest version of the Eagleview Heights project to council’s committee of the whole on March 6.

The project, led by TCD Developments, envisions 87 units on property at 464 Eaglecrest Drive.

Staats said the proposed zoning would be based on the Town’s existing Cluster Residential (RCL) zone allowing for apartments, containing up to six units and townhouses with secondary suites. 

Planning staff are also proposing a restrictive covenant limiting building heights to eight metres throughout the property, with a minor exception for two buildings that will be allowed to be slightly higher to accommodate an elevator shaft.

Staats said in the public information meetings density, traffic flow and fit with the community were the main concerns flagged by residents.

About a dozen of those residents were on hand March 6 along with representatives from the developer.

During the public question period, William Baker of the O’Shea – Oceanmount Community Association said the traffic impact study failed to address the concerns of area residents because it doesn’t include baseline information. “We got the forecast, but I can’t figure out from the traffic study what is the current [volume] versus the projected,” Baker said.

The study showed a projected increase of 50 vehicle trips during the weekday afternoon peak hour.

Another resident, Bob Bjornson, distributed a letter to councillors on behalf of himself and several neighbours, before the meeting. It raised concerns about access from Stewart Road for the lower bench area of the development, because of the narrow street.

The committee voted unanimously to have bylaws drafted for first reading, with a recommendation to have an affordable housing and community amenities proposal ready before any consideration of second reading and the public hearing.

The Town will also hold its own information meeting.

Mayor Wayne Rowe said he felt that was a sensible move, given the previous meetings were hosted by the developer.

“Based on some of our past experience, I think it’s appropriate for the Town to have its own public information meeting detailing the proposal and also, specifically, what benefits are expected to go to the greater municipality… I think that’s an important part of it as well,” he said.

Gospel Rock

Staats briefed councillors on the rezoning proposal for Block 7 at Gospel Rock during the previous committee meeting on Feb. 20, and the recommendation to prepare zoning bylaws for first reading was endorsed by council March 6.

Block 7 is owned by Greenlane Homes, a company controlled by Lower Mainland businessman Ji Yongqiang and his family.

Gospel Rock Village would be the first major development in the Gospel Rock Neighbourhood Plan area.

The rezoning, if it passes, would allow a mix of 60 single-family homes, 150 townhouses, and 150 apartment units (of which 30 would be market rental), with nine hectares (23 acres) set aside as park.

The developer plans to build in four phases, starting with 60 single-family homes and 50 apartment units.

Staats said the amendment bylaw creates a comprehensive development zone for Block 7 “to allow a mix of uses within Block 7 to support a compact, pedestrian-oriented, village-like community.”

It would also create several sub-areas, based on current zoning types within the town, including sections zoned for an apartment with ground-level commercial, tourist accommodation with a restaurant/micro brewery and commercial space, and an apartment with live/work space.

She also said the planning department continues to work with the developer on affordable housing and a life-cycle cost analysis for the infrastructure that will be needed to support the development.

Those items, and the other aspects of a so-called term sheet for the development agreement, such as conservation provisions for the greenbelt areas and park dedication, will be presented to council before second reading and a public hearing.

Greenlane Homes also owns Block 6 at Gospel Rock, but has yet to come forward with plans or a rezoning application for that property.