Campbell River councillor objects to ‘joke’ design

City will allow another storage facility to be built at Campbell River Common

Council will allow another storage facility to be built at Campbell River Common mall despite strong objections from one councillor who said the design plans are “a joke.”

The owner of the mall, Allan Edie, was given permission by council Jan. 21 to build a second stand-alone storage facility in the parking lot behind the mall along 16th Avenue.

Edie intends to build a 15,000 square foot building identical in appearance to the outdoor storage facility that was built in 2011.

Edie’s company, Indoor Storage Solutions, stores boats, RVs, and other vehicles just outside and in back of the mall.

Edie said despite his proximity to Nunns Creek Park, his facility is environmentally sound.

“We’re not in the riparian zone, the riparian zone has been identified as being across from our site on 16th Avenue,” Edie said. “We haven’t had any spills (and) there’s a regular grade back to our site from the periphery of our building so any spills would come back to the drainage on our site.”

Coun. Larry Samson was satisfied Edie’s business was not negatively impacting Nunns Creek Park and praised Edie for his work in beautifying the area. Edie acknowledged that he’s pulled several grocery carts, old batteries, drug paraphernalia, and even an old microwave out of the bushes bordering the park and his property.

“I think we’ve definitely seen a revitalization in that particular area with these buildings going on, so I think it’s a good thing,” Samson said.

But not everyone thought so.

Coun. Ron Kerr, who has the Campbellton improvement portfolio, said he was not in favour of Edie’s storage building in 2011 and that hasn’t changed.

“The negative impact of this large steel barn looming over the sidewalk (on 16th Avenue) will impact the neighbourhood now and into the future,” Kerr said. “Existing buildings in the area have large setbacks from the street and this has little or none. The landscape screening, the landscape plan and scheme, is a joke compared to other recent developments in Campbell River. There’s no screening here. There’s better screening on the downtown homeless shelter and it’s only temporary.”

Coun. Samson said he took “exception to part of the comments” and said he believes the facility “fits well for that area.”

According to city staff, Edie plans to plant a 15’ by 120’ strip of Leylandii cypress, Pieris Japonica, and a mix of rhododendrons along the western side of 16th Avenue.

“Leylandii would be planted in three sections, which would provide significant screening of the site but without presenting a solid barrier,” wrote Chris Osborne, city planner, in a report to council. “The landscaping proposed would be sufficient to offer significant screening of the site and a visual improvement to 16th Avenue.”

That seemed to satisfy council, which voted in favour of allowing Edie to build his storage unit. Coun. Kerr was opposed.