Neighbours concerned about proposed apartment complex on Island Highway

City says it’s early in the process, still, and residents will ‘absolutely’ have their concerns heard

Neighbours of a proposed development at the corner of Highway 19A and 3rd Avenue are concerned about the additional traffic, loss of viewscape and their ability to have their voices heard because of a change in the rezoning process due to COVID-19. Photo Submitted

Some residents of a central Campbell River neighbourhood are upset at the possibility of a four-storey apartment complex being built at the corner of Island Highway (19A) and 3rd Avenue.

The property in question is under consideration for rezoning from R-1 (single family residential) to CD (Comprehensive Development) to accommodate a proposed 60-unit apartment building, and residents are concerned that their voices won’t be heard because of changes in the rezoning process due to COVID-19.

In a normal year, the proponent of the development would need to hold a public meeting where people could ask questions and express their concerns. This year, however, that requirement has been waived due to restrictions placed on gatherings by the provincial health officer.

“That obviously creates a whole lot of anxiety for property owners in the area that they won’t have the ability to voice their opinions,” says Beverly Schulte, whose property is across the street from the proposed development. “I mean, they’re accepting correspondence by email, which is great, but they haven’t done any public consultation on the project.”

Another red flag, Schulte says, is that she hasn’t been contacted by either the city or the developer about the project at any time throughout the process.

Renea Sumner is another concerned neighbour. She started a petition to stop the rezoning process on Change.Org which she plans on delivering to the city. As of the writing of this article, the petition had over 350 signatures.

“The city needs to follow its own processes,” Sumner says. “I know it’s COVID, so everything’s weird, but this sets a precedent. If this goes through, that’s a slippery slope.”

She agrees with Schulte that when development is being considered – especially if it involves major changes to the form and character of an area or goes against the city’s Official Community Plan – it needs to be brought to the people who live there.

“I happened to be driving home one day as a couple of people were installing the sign, which is how we found out,” Sumner says. “People don’t know this is happening. We went door to door to talk to people, and nobody had been contacted or even knew this was a thing that was going on.”

Development planning supervisor for the City of Campbell River, Andy Gaylor, however, says the neighbours will “absolutely” have an opportunity to give feedback, but the project is still early in the process, which is why letters haven’t been sent out.

While it’s true that requirement for developers to hold a neighbourhood public meeting has been suspended, Gaylor says, there will still need to be a public hearing should the rezoning be considered by city council.

“Right now, city staff are looking at the technical merits of the application at a staff level,” Gaylor says. “We work through some issues with the developer, at which point we would take it before council for first and second reading, and if council wants to see it move forward, then a public hearing would be scheduled. That’s when we would send our letters to property owners within 100 metres of the subject property and post advertisements in the newspaper, that kind of thing.”

Unfortunately, public hearings are being held virtually these days rather than in-person at City Hall, but Gaylor says there will be instructions circulated on how to join the meeting, should it get to that point, and anyone who wishes to speak on the matter will be more than welcome to have their say.

“Certainly we recognize that this is obviously a significant application in terms of density and there are some neighbourhood impacts, so this is something we really want to ensure the public has a say in throughout the approval process,” Gaylor says.

It’s not just the process that the neighbours have concerns about. There are traffic concerns, environmental concerns and infrastructure capacity concerns as well. And it’s not just the immediate neighbours, either. There are hand-painted “No Rezone” signs posted in yards from 1st Avenue to 4th Avenue, and all the way from the highway up to Alder Street.

Sumner says there has been some backlash to her petition, with some members of the community accusing her and the signatories of only being interested in their ocean views and property values.

While she admits that there is concern about property values, those concerns are not only financial ones.

“There are two things that mean something to people in this world: their family and their home,” Sumner says. “It’s not just monetary. Your home gives you privacy, pride, a sense of accomplishment. When you take those things away from people, it creates a whole lot of problems. We all have stressful lives, and we escape to our homes to find our peace and tranquility. If that place that is your sanctuary becomes your stress…” she says, leaving it open-ended.

“The homes in this area are the founding homes of Campbell River,” she continues. “They’ve been here since the 50s, and nobody wants to see them replaced by a line of new four-storey apartment complexes. There’s history here that you can’t replace with bright shiny new four-storey buildings.”

Watch future editions of the Campbell River Mirror and online at campbellrivermirror.com for any updates.

RELATED: Willow Point residents concerned over proposed development

RELATED: Campbell River gets 51 more apartments despite neighbours’ concerns



miked@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

development

Just Posted

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Two knife incidents reported on same day in Campbell River

Stabbing and knife fight both occured on May 13

Cash, drugs and weapons were seized by the Street Crimes Unit on May 12. Photo supplied by Campbell River RCMP
Police recover cash, drugs and weapons after arrest

18-year-old arrested in Willow Point Park for drug trafficking

Good Food Boxes are packed in Gold River to go out to people of that community. The program is one of a few that address food security in the area. Photo supplied by Greenways Land Trust
Group to hold workshop to address food security gaps

‘The only barriers are capacity and people being able to devote time and energy to it.’ — Greenways dir.

Colin Dowler survived a grizzly bear attack July 29, 2019 on Mt. Dougie Dowler on the south coast of British Columbia and reports that his physical and mental rehabilitation is still ongoing. Photo courtesy Colin Dowler
‘Bad-ass dude that took on a grizzly bear’ doesn’t let 2019 attack bring him down

Campbell River’s Colin Dowler gets on with his life as his rehabilitation continues

The City of Campbell River will purchase an automated external defibrillator (AED) for the Overdose Prevention Site after a letter from a local paramedic pointed out it doesn’t have one. Black Press File Photo
City of Campbell River to buy defibrillator for downtown Overdose Prevention Site

Local paramedic pens letter asking for city’s assistance after trying other avenues to acquire AED

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read