The City of Campbell River says after a comprehensive review of the sewer system in the south end of town, it will begin sewer upgrades along a portion of Highway 19A so that building and occupancy permits that were temporarily delayed can now be issued for the growing Maryland-Parkway neighbourhood.
“Monday night, Council endorsed a plan for immediate upgrade work that will increase capacity in the neighbourhood sewer system,” says Ron Neufeld, Campbell River’s deputy city manager. “Tuesday morning we began advising property owners, contractors and developers that, based on this work being done this summer, we are now able to issue building and occupancy permits again.We provided an update to everyone directly affected immediately because we recognize this is an urgent situation given the personal and financial impact for property and homeowners.”
The plan is to complete the necessary sewer upgrades by this fall, which the city says puts it in a position to continue building inspections for 14 houses currently under construction, and to issue occupancy permits as early as this week for six homes. The additional capacity will also accommodate future homes on individual vacant single-family lots already sold in the area. The city anticipates building permits for another 10 lots where construction has not yet begun.
“This is extremely welcome news,” says city manager Deborah Sargent. “We know that the announcement of a temporary delay in permits for this area was of great concern to many people, and we appreciate the quick action of our staff and the cooperation of local developers to help resolve this issue and return to normal and soon as possible. We also appreciate the abundance of caution that led to temporarily pausing construction activity in this area to protect public health and safety.”
Working with a local engineering firm, the city received a series of recommendations for sewer system upgrades to accommodate homes currently under construction and to allow the next stages of development in the neighbourhood. The city confirmed that the immediate priority for upgrades this year is to relieve a bottleneck in the sewer system caused by 150 metres of low-capacity pipe between Maryland and Twillingate. The estimated cost to replace or twin the sewer lines along this stretch is $575,000, to be paid from the city’s sewer capital reserve funds.
“We’re working in partnership with a local developer and engineering firm to begin this work immediately,” Neufeld says.
As a longer-term solution, the city will also begin designing upgrades to accommodate future construction on lands not yet developed within Campbell River’s Maryland-Parkway area. City staff will provide a report with options for council to consider, including funding, timing, sizing and delivery models and design.
“This is a rapidly growing area, and we understand the developer aims to have additional lots on the market as early as this fall. These longer-term upgrades will help provide certainty that additional residential building can continue within this neighbourhood,” Neufeld adds.
Find answers to frequently asked questions posted on the city’s website under What’s New and at www.campbellriver.ca/sewer-faqs