Despite a petition circling around to stop the Fairwinds Landing development, the regional district recently approved the development permit.
The Regional District of Nanaimo approved the permit at the regular board meeting on July 25.
In a press release sent out by Seacliff Properties Ltd., director of real estate Ian Porter said it was great news for Fairwinds.
“We can now move ahead with the project and deliver the community retail, services and new housing residents have been waiting so long for,” Porter said.
The release from Seacliff Properties also thanked the “almost 600 people who wrote letters in favour of the development, and unprecedented show of support for a project in the Regional District of Nanaimo.” It also states more details will follow, including a completion schedule.
The development proposal is for a 50-unit residential complex, with additional commercial space at Schooner Cove.
Building A would be the already-existing building at Schooner Cove, which would include 11 dwelling units. Building B would be a new, six-storey residential building.
During the meeting, several Fairwinds residents got up to speak on the development. While a number of people did criticize the look and height of Fairwinds Landing at Schooner Cove, most people did acknowledge it was time something was developed on the property.
The July 25 agenda also included numerous letters asking the RDN to re-think the development.
Gerry Thompson, past-president of the Fairwinds Community Association, said as a resident and private citizen, it is time to approve the development permit and get on with the “beneficial changes.”
Thompson, a former municipal engineer, urban planner and administrator, said in his examination of the Fairwinds Landing development, “the variance issues before you this evening represent no substantive change to the approvals already granted, particularly in respect of impact on adjacent property owners.”
According to the RDN’s July 11 agenda, Building A would have a height increase of 30 centimetres, and Building B would have an increase in the maximum number of storeys permitted to six storeys from five, but it wouldn’t increase the height. The area for Building B allows a maximum height of 31 metres, and Building B would come in below that at 30.8m.
Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) Director Bob Rogers said there was a “record amount of correspondence.”
While many of the comments expressed at the meeting were about the changes in the Seacliff proposal from previous development proposals on the property, Rogers said Seacliff is the new developer for the property and it has the right to change plans for the property.
“I can appreciate that this is not going to please everybody,” Rogers said. “It is not going to make some individuals happy. We do live in an area where we, as a board, have to take into consideration the zoning and height limits… and density limits.”
After listening to all of the speakers, Rogers said he “agrees it is time for this project to move on.”
Electoral Area F (Errington, Coombs, Hilliers) Director Julian Fell said he is conflicted about this development, but added the existing official community plan allows what is being constructed.
Fell said he went through and counted the correspondence and more than 75 per cent was in favour of Fairwinds Landing.
“I don’t think we have much choice,” Fell said.