Parksville council approves two new fast-food franchise developments

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Two new drive-thru restaurants are coming to Parksville after council voted to grant a development permit for two commercial buildings between Pioneer Crescent and Island Highway East.

The permit, granted to MacDonald Gray Consultants and Canadian Commercial Development on behalf of the owner of the properties, Canadian Commercial (Parksville) Inc., will allow a Popeyes restaurant and a Wendy’s restaurant to be built, along with space for two commercial tenants.

The eastern triangular end of the development site is proposed to feature a picnic area and rain garden. The rain garden is intended to provide stormwater retention and infiltration opportunities.

Vehicle access to the site will be limited to Island Highway East only. Pedestrian access will be available at several locations from both Island Highway East and Pioneer Crescent, according to a report by Blaine Russell, the city’s director of community planning and building.

Several councillors expressed concern about the development’s lone vehicle access point.

“That’s a lot of traffic into this one very confined space,” said Coun. Doug O’Brien.

Vehicle queueing and circulation were reviewed by transportation engineers, who concluded peak vehicle demands will not result in vehicle spill-back onto the highway, according to Russell’s report. He also said Parksville’s official community plan precluded a vehicle access from Pioneer Crescent unless it was the only option.

Mayor Ed Mayne recused himself from the discussion and voting because of his previous employment with one of the companies involved and his affiliation with Tim Hortons, which is owned by the same parent company as Popeyes. Coun. Al Greir temporarily took over as chair during council’s July 19 meeting.

The land parcels at 665, 669 and 685 Island Highway East and 670 Pioneer Crescent will be consolidated into one property, according to Russell.

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