A rezoning application for a proposed redevelopment project in Lantzville is dead following months of debate and another tie vote from councillors.
Lantzville councillors voted 3-3 on a proposed zoning amendment bylaw for property at 7143 Caillet Rd. on Monday night. The property is the site of CruisePlus, a local travel company that is looking to redevelop its office into a mixed-use building in order to meet their growing needs.
The Caillet Road rezoning application saga began back in May when councillors approved the first two readings of the proposed zoning amendment bylaw for the property. However, councillors voted 3-3 on third reading for the bylaw back in July, resulting in application failing. Councillors then voted to reconsider the application last month.
Prior to discussion on the application, Lantzville councillors heard from a number of members of the public, most of whom were against the proposed rezoning application by CruisePlus.
Dave Frinton, CruisePlus owner, said not a single person has called him about talk about their plans despite his phone number being displayed on a large sign out front of his Caillet Road property.
“Not one person has actually called me to discuss our real plans or to talk about their concerns, which we would have been happy to do,” he said.
Coun. Mark Swain, who had brought forward the motion to reconsider the rezoning application, said he did so in order for the applicant to get a fair vote after it had failed on a tie vote previously. He said it’s unfortunate that Mayor Colin Haime was unable to attend the meeting, but that a decision needs to be made.
“We need to stop kicking this can down the road,” he said.
Swain said he has heard the concerns from those residents who live on Caillet Road or immediately near it and cited a petition against the rezoning application by CruisePlus.
“I can say with good certainty that the petitioners weren’t walking around holding a gun to peoples heads telling them to sign the petition,” he said. “I see the names on that and clearly those people wouldn’t put their name down if they didn’t mean it.”
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Coun. Denise Haime raised concerns about the entire process, adding that there were a number of people who lived on or near Caillet Road who were against the proposal.
“All of those who are in favour are either employees of the current property, non-residents, or residents who don’t live in the neighbourhood,” she said. “They are not people who are going to be directly impacted by what is going to happen down on that road and in that neighbourhood.”
Coun. Bob Colclough said he’s also listened to the concerns of the residents but felt the rezoning application and the proposal by CruisePlus is a good for the village core and Lantzville in general.
“It’s good for the whole community,” he said.
Coun. Dot Neary said she was in favour of the bylaw because what CruisePlus was proposing was in line with the district’s current official community plan.
“It is not an unreasonable proposal,” she said. “This is already a commercial property adjacent to residential property and this proposal is for mixed use, relatively mixed use. The difference is between the residential use that has been proposed here and the existing residential is that this will be … multi-family.”
Councillors Swain, Coulson and Haime voted against while councillors Geselbracht, Neary and Colclough voted in favour.