Mayor’s attempt at fairness moot

City hall staff’s control over proposed development design at issue

An attempt by the mayor to achieve fairness between developers was shot down at a council meeting Tuesday night.

Mayor Walter Jakeway re-introduced a development permit – approved by council on July 24 – for the owner of the former Willow Point Mazda building. Jakeway wanted to scratch a paragraph approved by council that gave approval to the permit but also allowed the city’s general manager of operations the authority to approve building colour, materials and lighting.

Jakeway said he wanted to remove that clause in order to make the development permit conditions match with Seymour Pacific’s, which was approved by council that same night.

“We ended up removing the second paragraph. So if we could make the two texts the same…,” Jakeway said, imploring one of the councillors to make that motion. “To make it fair for the two projects.”

Coun. Andy Adams did make a motion to remove the paragraph from the former Mazda development permit, but it wound up being withdrawn.

Ross Blackwell, the city’s land use manager, explained that the clause was only in applicant Orla Jensen’s development permit because the city had not yet received information pertaining to colour, materials, and lighting before it went before council. Blackwell brought the development permit forward without that information in order to fast-track the process for Jensen. Blackwell said the information required was brought to the city the day after the meeting, making it unnecessary for the city’s general manager of operations to make any decisions around colour, building materials, and lighting, as was laid out in the paragraph Jakeway wanted removed.

“So if I understand correctly, this motion is moot and all the material under this controversial paragraph has been supplied?” Moglove asked.

“That’s entirely correct,” Blackwell replied.

City Manager Andy Laidlaw recommended council withdraw its motion, which it did.

“To expedite this and not put up any obstacles, my recommendation would be to remove the motion,” Laidlaw said.

Jensen’s development permit was issued by council last month to redevelop the former Coastline Mazda building into a mixed commercial, retail and office complex. Coastline Mazda is now located across the bridge at the north end of Campbell River, along the Island highway.