Parksville citizens voiced concerns about a purposed zoning bylaw amendment that would allow construction of a 71-unit apartment building on McMillan St. for the last time on Monday.
City council heard public opinion prior to its regular council meeting and will take the issue to a third reading before passing or denying the amendment. Council heard concerns regarding building height, residential density, privacy and parking from the public.
The property is currently zoned as mixed-use in the Parksville community plan — this zoning is meant to serve as a transitional area between residential and commercial. Development under this zoning is intended to focus on multi-unit residential use, according to the city. The amendment, requested by WestUrban Developments on behalf of the property owner, would increase the maximum allowable density on the property to facilitate the apartment complex.
The city said a comprehensive development zone was put on the property in 2008, which was intended to enable a 71 unit assisted care facility.
“An assisted living facility requires only 29 parking spaces, whereas the proposed apartment building there are 71 spaces with no provision for visitors. This puts increased parking pressure on the existing neighbourhood and businesses,” said Bonnie Dawe, who lives adjacent to the proposed development property and is concerned an apartment complex on the property would create too much density if couples or families move in.
Conceptual plans show parking predominantly underground with some surface parking and the city said it is consistent with parking bylaw requirements of one space per dwelling.
Zoning on the lot was amended in 2014 to facilitate a high-end 18 unit apartment condominium development, according to the city. This project made it to the development permit stage, but never came to fruition.
If council denies the text amendment, the city said the property will likely remain vacant for the foreseeable future.