Developers propose energy efficient, EV-friendly building for downtown Parksville

Screenshot of a presentation given by Highstreet Ventures during Parksville council's March 21, 2022 regular meeting.
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Developers have proposed a 100 per cent electric mixed commercial-residential building in Parksville’s downtown core. 

The development would be the first in Parksville to achieve the highest steps in the BC Energy Step Code, according to the city.

“Our communities are largely powered by on-site, solar photovoltaics with provisions for adding more when allowed by utility regulations,” said Eric Delorme, development manager with Highstreet Ventures during his presentation at council’s March 21 regular meeting.

Council voted in favour of providing notice of its intent to consider a development variance permit to facilitate a four-storey building at 164 Alberni Highway and 113 Jensen Avenue West with 490 square metres of commercial space and 39 residential units. The lots are currently vacant.

“I’m very impressed that you’re probably the first development in Parksville that’s going to achieve Step 4 of the BC Energy Step Code,” said Coun. Doug O’Brien. “I’m very impressed with that and all the other features you’re putting in this to help reduce Parksville’s carbon footprint.”

The developers have applied for a height variance, as well as variances to permit a set back adjustment at the building’s rear lot line, a parking and landscape adjustment to accommodate a stormwater management design and the inclusion of a loading zone along the laneway.

The proposed development’s ground floor will have commercial units on the side facing Alberni Highway, according to Delorme. Highstreet Ventures applied for a zoning amendment to allow residential occupancy on a portion of the building’s first floor.

Council gave first reading to Zoning and Development Amendment Bylaw, 2022, No. 2000.13 during the March 21 meeting.

“We want to be able to bring more residents to the downtown area to support Parksville’s commercial economic growth,” Delorme said.

The development will feature one level of underground parking, complete with electric vehicle charging capacity for all parkade stalls, according to Delorme.

“This is achievable through the integration of an energy management system, allowing electric load-sharing between the base building systems and electric vehicle charging,” Delorme said.

There will also be a parking lot for visitors and commercial vehicles, which will include at least two Class 2 electric vehicle charging stations.

Residents of the building will be encouraged to cycle by the provision of a commercial grade bike pump, a bicycle storage area and an accompanying work stand.

Prior to council giving second reading to the zoning and development amendment bylaw, public engagement opportunities will be provided by the developer.

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