Developers propose 800 unit community in Parksville near Englishman River

Future Land Use Map/ City of Parksville Official Community Plan image showing where the proposed neighbourhood would be located, if approved by the city. || City of Parksville image.
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A developer has submitted an application for official community plan (OCP) and zoning amendments to pave the way for a new 800 unit community east of the Englishman River in the area of Greig Road.

District Developments Corporation is seeking to change the land’s zoning from agricultural to a comprehensive development zone to allow a mix of low-rise multi-family and single-family residential units within the planned neighbourhood.

Brandon Crema, executive vice-president of District Developments and development manager Briana Mussatto presented to council on July 19.

The planned community would involve developing 80 of the 140 acre parcel of land, while leaving the remaining 60 acres as park and wetland, which may include community features such as trails, Mussatto said.

“This is going to change the City of Parksville dramatically by putting over 800 units over on that side. You’re talking about a couple thousand people living over there,” said Mayor Ed Mayne. He added he thinks it is a good site, but also presents a lot of technical challenges, including providing fire department coverage, transportation, water and sewer services.  

“Until I see all of this put together as a technical presentation through staff, there’s still a long, long ways to go,” he said.

The city’s engineering department, operations department and Parksville Volunteer Fire Department are conducting a technical review of the application. 

A report by Blaine Russell, the city’s director of community planning and building, said the proposal does not have enough detail for staff to complete the review, but recommended the developer provide public engagement opportunities. 

Coun. Adam Fras asked what flood prevention measures were taken into consideration and pointed out Martindale Road, located nearby, often floods.

Mussatto said a flood survey was done by consultants. “We need to make sure we’re looking at the current one to five year flood plain levels and we are looking at finding ways to develop around those,” she said.

An environmental overview assessment, geotechnical assessment and servicing report have been prepared, according to Russell’s report. The applicant also plans to have a transportation impact assessment done. The reports will be made available when a follow up staff report is completed, should the application advance, the city said.

Mussatto said the project will be completed in phases, but said they can not provide a timeline because it will depend on a number of factors, including the market, processing time for applications and permits and construction time.

She said a website and survey are planned and will be used to inform open house material. 

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