The owners of Hyundai are building a brand-new dealership in north Campbell River, but first they have to work around a road block put up by the province.
Owners Gary Thulin and Scott Kilby took possession of property on Meredith Road – the future home of the new Hyundai dealership – on April 1 and were ready to begin construction.
But the province stepped in and put a freeze on the property before shovels could go into the ground, Thulin said.
“The province decided in their wisdom they wanted a Stage Two environmental report which has of course delayed us,” Thulin said. “We’re waiting for a letter to come back from the province to release the property so that we can start the construction.”
The property in question is next to the North Island Nissan dealership and formerly housed a boat repair business.
Chris Osborne, city planner, said the province is concerned about the possibility of site contamination generated from former industrial use and requires environmental studies be carried out.
Thulin said Levelton consultants have tested the site and given it a clean bill of health and he was surprised the province asked for further testing.
“The initial Stage One environmental that came back didn’t really show anything that warranted a Stage Two from any of the experts, including Levelton, but the province at the last minute, on March 26, decided they wanted a Stage Two,” Thulin said.
Thulin said the report requested from the province has been provided and he expects to hear back soon, and have the freeze on the property lifted.
“Our contractor is sitting there waiting and we would like to get him started,” Thulin said. “As soon as we get the letter of removal from the province we can get started on construction.”
The new Hyundai is expected to have a full-infiltration rain garden along the Meredith Road property line, in front of the dealership, with large ash trees. Maple trees within two planting pods are planned for an area adjacent to the building.
Coun. Ron Kerr, who has the Campbellton portfolio, said he was happy to see those features included in the plan.
“I’m really pleased to see the emphasis you’re putting on landscaping,” Kerr told Thulin and Kilby at last week’s council meeting. “You’ve got a really good budget there for landscaping the site.”
Campbell River Hyundai is currently located behind the Strathcona Toyota dealership on Coulter Road.