Lot two on this illustration is the area the owner of Tyee Plaza is applying to the province to have removed from a covenant that requires the area to be free public parking in order to build a multi-use building.

Plaza owner to rearrange parking

The owner of Tyee Plaza has applied to the province to eliminate some of the parking stalls in the plaza’s parking lot.

The owner is seeking permission to remove a portion of the Tyee Plaza parking lot from a Crown Grant parking requirement in order to build a mixed-use building near Spirit Square.

Matthew Fitzgerald, city planner, said the move is not expected to reduce the amount of parking spaces at the plaza as the owner intends to re-configure the lot.

“The applicant has provided a conceptual plan which shows, despite the western area of the parking lot being removed from the Crown Grant agreement parking area, the number of stalls will actually slightly increase,” Fitzgerald said. “The parking stalls proposed will be reconfigured from angled parking to a perpendicular stall layout.”

Fitzgerald said the new layout is expected to increase the number of parking spots to 535. There are currently 523 stalls in the Tyee Plaza parking lot which is heavily used by people working and shopping in the downtown core, specifically on weekdays.

The owner of the plaza is proposing to eliminate the parking stalls immediately surrounding Spirit Square and in front of the Art Gallery and Visitor’s Centre.

That area, however, is currently protected under a parking covenant placed on Tyee Plaza by the province in 1969.

The land-filled area was granted to the shopping centre by the province on the condition that the area be used for free public parking.

In order to remove the intended portion from the covenant, the owners have to go through an application process through the B.C. ministry of forests, land and natural resources.

The proposal has been forwarded to the city for comment and was before council at its Monday meeting after the Mirror went to press.

The owner of Tyee Plaza intends to build a residential complex adjacent to Spirit Square to complement a 46-unit residential building to be built on the former SuperValu site.

City council approved a development permit for that complex in March.

Fitzgerald said city staff are also supportive of the plans for the second complex.

“Staff is recommending support of the proposal,” he said. “The City of Campbell River’s Official Community Plan envisions a well-defined downtown that is the central business district, the civic and cultural heart of the city, and includes a vibrant residential community.”

Fitzgerald did acknowledge, however, that Tyee Plaza is a key piece of the city’s downtown parking network and the redevelopment of the plaza needs to be “carefully balanced” with the community’s current and future parking needs.

As part of that, he said the city is currently in the midst of a study assessing downtown parking.