City of Powell River councillors put a pause on consideration of third reading to a zoning amendment bylaw for a one-acre property on Garibaldi Place.
At the November 18 city council meeting, councillors, after a public hearing held on November 4, were presented the amendment bylaw that would rezone the parcel at 4304 Garibaldi Place from R2 (single- and two-family residential) to CD4 (comprehensive development residential small lots). At the hearing, councillors heard opposition from neighbours to the rezoning proposal, as well as a presentation from one of the developers.
Councillor Rob Southcott said the zoning amendment was for eight small CD4 lots.
“This recommendation leaves me on the horns of a dilemma,” said Southcott. “I certainly heard the concerns provided by everyone in the neighbourhood who attended [the public hearing]. There were concerns for parking, density, existing problems with Garibaldi and changes to the character of the neighbourhood. There was nobody, except for the proponent, in favour of this zoning change.
“The number of units proposed by the developer is the same number of units that would be allowed if the developer simply subdivided and kept the zoning, so density is going to increase, unfortunately.”
Southcott said the neighbourhood and developer appear not to have communicated and it seemed to him there was a “real split.”
“I’m not sure the neighbourhood would like to see four large duplexes there instead of the eight smaller CD4-type dwellings,” said Southcott. “Because of this division, I can’t support moving this forward at the moment, unless there is more agreement. I think there is potential for compromise.”
Councillor George Doubt said he likes the CD4 zone, densifying neighbourhoods and having smaller lots, but in this case, it is going on a street that is not a standard Powell River roadway.
“It’s very narrow and comes to a dead end with no cul-de-sac,” said Doubt.
He said when he went up to Garibaldi Place at the invitation of neighbours, he parked his truck on the street and had to use a driveway to turn his truck around.
“That street needs to be, at the very least, improved, and if we are going to densify that neighbourhood, I would be looking for comfort from the planning department about the kind of requirements we can have to park all of the vehicles that might be associated with each building, off of the street,” said Doubt. “I would like to hear from the developers how they plan to accomplish that.”
Councillor Jim Palm said at the public hearing, it was evident the whole neighbourhood was out and not one of them was in favour of eight lots and CD4 zoning.
“That tells me we have a problem,” said Palm. “If the developers don’t get their zoning they can still put in their duplexes; four of them for eight households. There will still be a problem with parking.”
Palm said it is important for the developers to get together with residents to come up with a compromise that works.
Councillors suggest pause
Councillor Cindy Elliott said she was absent for the public hearing but read through concerns of the people who attended.
“I tend to agree with the people in the neighbourhood about how things will be with the narrow Garibaldi Place road,” said Elliott.
“The solution for this particular place is that maybe they pause, talk to one another and come back to us when they are a little more of the same mind as to how this neighbourhood should look,” said Elliott.
Doubt asked if the decision on third reading could be postponed until after the planning department gets together with the developer and residents to explore the issues.
Corporate officer Chris Jackson said a postponement motion or a referral back to staff could be effected.
“If you want to postpone it and collect more information, the only caution I would give is it may trigger another public hearing,” said Jackson. “Postponement would be in order and you could put third reading on pause.”
Doubt moved postponement until the planning department, developer and residents discuss future development.
Mayor Dave Formosa said the Fernwood Avenue side of the property goes all of the way through and the problem is Garibaldi.
“I’ll bet you the neighbours would be happy on Garibaldi if it was three lots, not four, and that four lots are built on Fernwood, which has the wider road,” said Formosa. “With four on Fernwood and three on Garibaldi, I’ll bet you’d have a party.”
Palm seconded Doubt’s motion for postponement.
Doubt said he thought postponement is a reasonable way to go.
“There’s lots of speculation about different ways you could develop that,” said Doubt. “There’s a bunch of good-hearted people on both sides of the equation and there’s ways to resolve it that would work for everybody.”
Council voted unanimously for postponement.