The City of Campbell River was all set to grant a zoning amendment to a developer for the construction of a four-unit townhouse complex at the corner of Hilchey and Galerno Roads on Monday, but Coun. Charlie Cornfield wanted to make sure he builds what he says he’s building before approving the zoning.
The proposed rezoning would see the lot change from R-1 (single-family residential) to RM-2 to allow the construction of the townhouses. It would also, however, allow the developer to construct something else on the lot once approved if he changed his mind about what he wanted to build.
Cornfield wanted to make sure that didn’t happen.
“If it was changed from R-1 to RM-2, they could go up multiple storeys,” Cornfield said. “The zoning change was fine with the neighbourhood with two-storey townhomes, and that’s what the developer was proposing, so I would like to make the zoning subject to that, as was shown both to the public and to council.”
City clerk Peter Wipper suggested that the best way to accomplish that would be to have a restrictive covenant placed on the land before the zoning bylaw was adopted.
“Once the bylaw is approved, then the height restrictions that are contained in that zone apply to those properties,” Wipper said. “There is no opportunity to restrict it to two storeys at that time. You cannot adopt this bylaw tonight and then restrict those homes to two storeys. The best you can do is give the bylaw a third reading and request staff come back with a restrictive covenant.”
City planner Andy Gaylor told council it is unlikely the developer would be able to accomodate anything on the lot other than what is proposed, but they could definitely postpone the adoption of the zoning bylaw until a covenant is registered.
“It’s my understanding that one of the design challenges is that the site is about .6 acres, which is a small site for an RM-2 property,” Gaylor said, adding that with each unit requires two parking stalls – plus visitor parking – it would make it very difficult to construct anything on that lot that would increase the density more than what’s been proposed.
But in the end, it was decided that the zoning amendment would be given third reading but a covenant would also be required on the property before the zoning would be officially adopted, which is the resposibility of the property owner.