A long-standing residential development on Quadra Island has gone back to the drawing board.
As far as moving ahead through rezoning and official community planning bylaws, the proposal required some procedural stick-handling from the Strathcona Regional District board recently.
The application originated in 2009 but was amended last year and resurfaced again at the last SRD board meeting in February.
An initial motion to send the plan back to the board’s Electoral Areas Services Committee (EASC) was defeated at the Feb. 28 meeting. Subsequently, the board voted to replace the wording proposed in a motion from the original, stating further consideration of the bylaws be “deferred,” as opposed to “postponed.” Staff also recommended removing the word “indefinitely” to allow the board to consider amendments.
The bylaws for rezoning and official community plan had sat at second reading, meaning the next step would be for the SRD board to consider authorizing a public hearing prior to third reading. As bylaws are typically defeated at the time of any reading, the option to defeat the bylaws was not currently available – as it would have to go to third reading.
“We thought this was easier,” said chief administrative officer Dave Leitch. “It’s the same thing, just in a simpler form.”
The issue for the SRD, according to the staff report, was to consider the application and provide direction on whether to proceed with necessary amendments to the current bylaws being contemplated for future consideration.
“We decided to leave it here, amend it substantially, rather than start all over with a new bylaw,” Area C Director Jim Abram said, adding EASC had considered defeated it and starting from a new bylaw.
Area B Director Noba Anderson questioned the rationale of adding amendments to an old bylaw that has been on hold, suggesting she felt starting with a new bylaw made more sense.
The plan in question for the Schellinck-Gowlland Harbour Views project has evolved. The proposal would create 21 residential lots, each two hectares, as well as one 12-hectare Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) parcel and one commercial lot of two hectares.
According to the staff report, for the amended plan to proceed, the developer needs successful OCP and zoning amendments to re-designate portions of the subject land from Silviculture (S) to Rural (RU) and Commercial (C); and to rezone portions from Rural One (RU-i) to Rural Two (RU-2) and Commercial Two G (C-2G); as well as to rezone a stretch of water adjacent to the upland proposed Commercial Two G (C-2G) lot from Access Three (AC-3) to Marine Commercial Two (MC-2). The ALR portion’s designation and zoning will not change.
“In comparison to the initial 2009 application, the amended Gowlland Harbour Views application is more rural in nature, doubling the proposed residential lot sizes and reducing the density initially contemplated by half,” the report states.
The report also cites changes from the original plan of the community water and sewer systems. Water and sewage services under the amended application will be provided though private individual wells and private on-site septic disposal units. As well, the plan calls for a three-hectare park, with approximately four kilometres of trails and connections.
The location of the site is on semi-rural property along the shores of Gowlland Harbour and Goose Bay and is accessible by April Point Road and Harbourbrook Road, with a plan to extend access from the latter road.
As well as the bylaw vote, the SRD approved a motion to have the applicants work with the Electoral Area C Director and SRD staff and provide public consultation prior to bylaw development.