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Liquor store development back on the table

A proposed liquor store with residential living units above has new life after being put on hold for more than a year
This re-vamped

A proposed liquor store with residential living units above has new life after being put on hold for more than a year.

Plans for the development at 1054 South Island Highway, just south of the Husky gas station, were approved by city council Tuesday night, but on a much smaller scale.

The most recent version has the development downsized from 20 residential apartments to two.

Chris Osborne, city planner, said in a report to council that because the property has changed owners since council approved the original plans in August 2013, a plan to use the adjoining Big Rock Motel lot for parking is no longer feasible.

“Following a change of site ownership, locating the parking elsewhere is no longer possible and must therefore be wholly contained on site,” Osborne said. “The site constraints reduce the level of development since there is no further space on site for any additional parking.”

Curtis Miles, agent for the development, said the new proposal means there will be less impact to the property and to the steep slope that rises up above the back of the property.

“There will only be a slight scraping into the hill,” said Miles who noted that there will be a secondary retention berm. Miles said a geotechnical survey by Levelton consultants concludes that the development can be safely located in the proposed location, with foundation-bearing conditions present. Miles noted that the project also complies with the city’s Sustainable Official Community Plan’s slope hazard guidelines. Miles said he was also assured by Levelton that if a slide were to occur, it would be a “very shallow shifting” and there would be no “instability in terms of large-scale, deep seeded sliding.”

Mayor Walter Jakeway, who voiced his concerns over the slope when the development first came to council last year, said Tuesday that he could support the revised plan but said the jury is still out on what may happen in the event of a landslide.

“We’ll wait and see what a small slide looks like,” Jakeway said. “If it’s big, don’t call me.”

Coun. Ron Kerr, who was also opposed to the original plan, said the new design would be much more feasible.

“This I believe is a good looking project,” Kerr said. “Staff have identified and answered all of my concerns to do with parking and the slope.”

Coun. Andy Adams also praised the new proposal. “I want to compliment the proponent,” Adams said. “This will fit in much better than the previous plan.”