A proposed mixed-use redevelopment in Lantzville is now on hold after a zoning amendment bylaw was defeated on a tie vote.
Lantzville councillors voted 3-3 on a proposed zoning amendment bylaw for property at 7143 Caillet Rd., which is home to CruisePlus, a local travel company that is looking to redevelop its office into a mixed-use building.
Councillors had approved the first two readings of zoning amendment bylaw that came from a redevelopment application for the CruisePlus property back on May 8. However, after two public meetings, councillors had concerns around parking and the number of units.
Before councillors could vote on the zoning amendment, citizens were given the opportunity to speak about the rezoning application. Dave Frinton, CruisePlus owner, said the company’s current structure on Caillet Road is old and needs to be replaced.
“It’s not working out for us. We need a bigger and better home and we want to stay in Lantzville and we are obviously hoping the economics work to utilize the land we purchased many years ago,” he said. “Having the option to subsidize the new office with residential makes sense and falls into the accepted use of the OCP.”
Frinton said the company does not want to have just commercial space as it will not work out for them financially.
“We work here. We want to play here. We wish to contribute to a healthy village core. We believe that the intentions that we have put forth are in the best interests of the community,” he said.
Although there were a number of residents who spoke in favour of the redevelopment plans by CruisePlus, there were a handful who voiced concerns about parking, density and what the project could mean for the village core long-term.
John Halliwell, a resident, said he and a number of other individuals are concerned about what the future of the village core could look like should councillors approve the rezoning application.
“We wanted a rural, semi-rural village-by-the-sea feel alongside agriculture. We wanted a village with lots accommodating all of our population including small lots,” he said. “We wanted the village core to look and feel like a village. If you pass this bill, this could be the start of this village losing that village feel in the future.”
Coun. Denise Haime told councillors on Monday that she had concerns about the number of proposed residential units that are in the plans, adding that she wonders about CruisePlus’ motives.
“Where I get confused is we are told that they need more space for business … and the very big thing we see on this [proposal] is changing our residential density from one to 10? How is that about business? To me that is not about business,” she said.
Coun. Bob Colclough said he didn’t believe there were any alternative motives by CruisePlus, adding that he felt the addition of 10 residential units might be a bit difficult to achieve.
“This is about building community. This is about revitalizing the community, whether it be businesses or residents,” he said.
“I first moved here in 1979 and it was a much more vibrant village in those days, I’ll tell you, and it was because there were people here,” he said.
Coun. Mark Swain said a petition against the development has been circling among residents and can’t be ignored by councillors, adding that he also had concerns around the parking and type of dwellings for the property.
“With this custom zone I think we have the ability to build in a stipulation that deals with parking. Can this property even absorb the parking?” he asked.
Frank Limshue, the district’s community planner, said because the rezoning application didn’t make it past a third reading, the redevelopment project is more or less dead.
Councillors Haime, Coulson and Swain were opposed while councillors Colclough, Neary and Geselbracht were in favour. Mayor Haime was absent during the discussion.