CVRD Area G
Meetings may influence Saltair’s future
BY MEL DOREY
In the past month Saltair has had three public meetings that will influence the future of the community. Since 2007 there hasn’t been many changes or amendments to the Official Community Plan which was drawn up in 2005. The CVRD plans on reviewing the OCP every 8 to 10 years but with stresses on the system and excessive workloads of planning staff this will just not be possible. So we have to be content with amendments from time to time as needed in Saltair.
Meeting #1 -Small Lot Commercial
A public hearing was held to rezone the lot next to Byron’s store in Saltair from commercial to small lot commercial. The uses will remain mostly the same but will allow the development and sale of small lots that can be used for small businesses. One person mentioned that it would be like the Coombs market with an assortment of small shops. It is hoped that small businesses could locate there on an affordable lot in an affordable building. In order for the development to move ahead from here it will also need a development permit which will be put before the public.
Meeting #2 – Allowing Site Built Homes In A Manufactured Home Park
The Seaside Manufactured Home Park on Chemainus Road was decommissioned about five years ago and has been left as a vacant property since. The owner decided to rebuild on the property and has put in all new services. He was approached by local businesses to build site built homes on the property to create local employment. He had originally planned to have manufactured homes there but found that there are no longer high end ones being built on the island since the factory in Parksville closed down. That would mean he would have to order them from Seattle to get the quality that he wanted. That would also mean lost employment to local contractors.
The second reason was that the neighbours to the property were overwhelmingly in favour of site built homes. Site built homes are more adaptable to the contour of the property and there is more variety of plans available. The approval of site built homes has now been granted by the CVRD and the project can move ahead.
Meeting #3- To Purchase Or Not To Purcase Mt. Brenton School
Mt. Brenton is for sale once again. This time the price is greatly reduced at $415,000 for the school and 5 1/2 acres. It was originally bought from the school district for about $650,000 and later went up for sale at $740,000. Because the property is zoned public institutional there is limited number of things that can be done on the property without rezoning. The school has had minimal use for the last 10 years.
This meeting was for information only to see what the public thought of the situation. Various plans were put forward for possible uses and methods of financing. Of the 44 people in attendance there were some concerns raised about possible asbestos, roof renewal, heating system and operating costs. Of the 44 citizens there some 30 were in agreement to have another meeting for further exploration.
There will be a second meeting in June to talk about the possible purchase or not to purchase. There are numerous options open so that it is not a simple situation. Hopefully we’ll get some clarification in June.