Construction crews aren’t slowing down in Campbell River. Another new development is coming to town.
The empty plot of land at the corner of Alder St. and 7th Ave. near downtown will eventually house an 8-unit apartment building.
At their Monday (Nov. 15) meeting, city council approved a permit for Danesh Architecture Inc to build the two-storey, multi-family building.
“It is good to see something being built on this corner,” said Councillor Ron Kerr. “It’s been an area in transition for as long as I can remember.”
But Kerr pointed out it’s a “really difficult intersection” with a telephone pole often obstructing drivers’ views, plus a crosswalk. There’s also a school just up the hill.
“At certain times of the day, that is an issue,” he said.
As well, Kerr said snow or icy conditions could pose some challenges for drivers parking on the 7th Ave. hill next to the building.
“I certainly don’t want to hold the project down or hold it back. And I think it is a wonderful project to be moving ahead,” he added. “But I have some concerns with traffic and parking.”
Councillor Sean Smith agreed with Kerr.
“I think it’s going to really improve the area from what was there before. I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “My concern, though, is that the corner is very difficult to navigate, especially in the morning high traffic times.”
Smith was ultimately in support of the project.
“I go up that street all the time. I have a kid that goes to the school just up the street from there and I’m incredibly happy to see a nice building going there,” he said.
With this permit came a variance, as the developer looks to reduce the adjoining side yard setback along 7th Ave. from 4.5 m to 3.5 m.
As well, the developer is hoping to cut down on the number of required visitor parking spaces from two spaces to one, with eleven spaces in total.
According to the City, an apartment requires one visitor parking space per five dwelling units. Because the proposed building has eight units, 1.6 visitors spaces are required.
With this in mind, Mayor Andy Adams asked city planner Meghan Norman, “Is there any way to accommodate twelve within their existing plans?”
Norman said that could be “pretty challenging” for the developer.
“It’s taken us a bit of a length of time to get to this point,” she said, noting the developer would probably have to go back to the drawing board to include another stall.
“Because I’m just looking at the property,” added Adams, “the only parking would be on the street on 7th Ave. between Lane Way and the intersection that Councillors Smith and Kerr are referring to, which can probably only accommodate four cars at most. When we’re talking 8-units, probably a minimum of 14 to 16 people.”
That prompted Adams to ask Norman another question, “Are we creating a problem that we’re going to hear about later?”
If city council had strong concerns, Norman said that they could always defer and go back and discuss more with the applicant.
“Maybe they can squeeze in one for a Mini Cooper or a Smart Car,” said Adams.
At the end of the day, council unanimously approved the project. There’s no word on when construction will start.