Liquor store proposal gets the go ahead from council

A proposed apartment building with a liquor store below was given the go ahead by council last week after the architect’s gamble paid off

A proposed apartment building with a liquor store below was given the go ahead by council last week after the architect’s gamble paid off.

At the last council meeting July 23 Miles, seeing councillors Andy Adams and Claire Moglove were absent, asked council to delay voting on the project. Miles knew that Mayor Walter Jakeway and councillors Ron Kerr and Larry Samson had voted against the re-zoning of the property a month prior to accommodate the development.

But with Adams and Moglove present at last Tuesday’s meeting, that gave council the numbers to approve the 20-unit, five-storey building for 1054 S. Island Highway. Jakeway, Kerr and Samson again voted opposed.

Jakeway was concerned about the steep slope that runs parallel to the Island Highway. The development is proposed to lie at the foot of the slope and cut marginally into the toe of the slope in one location.

“I will not be in favour of cutting into the hillside anywhere on that slope,” Jakeway said. “My concerns is whatever you do to a slope it starts to move.”

But project architect Curtis Miles said a geotechnical survey was done on the property and he was given the go-ahead.

The  geotechnical report 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.

To help beautify the property, Miles said the plan is to develop the back of the lot into a grotto, with the building nestling into the hill.

There will be two entrances to the residential portion of the building – one to the front and one at the back.

Because of the size of the lot, there is not enough room for residential parking on the same lot as the building.

While liquor store parking will be located in front of the building, apartment parking will be on the neighbouring Big Rock Motel property, which is owned by the same developer.

Miles said the plan is to put in new fencing and landscaping on the motel site to separate the cars from the highway and make it look more like a residential parking lot.

“We really do believe this project makes good use of the natural topography,” Miles said. “It blends the residential and commercial units quite well.”