City of Parksville photo - IAG Developments’ latest proposal included seven buildings, one of which was 16 storeys tall. The waterfront property is on 113 and 161 Island Highway in Parksville, adjacent to the Beach Club.

City of Parksville photo - IAG Developments’ latest proposal included seven buildings, one of which was 16 storeys tall. The waterfront property is on 113 and 161 Island Highway in Parksville, adjacent to the Beach Club.

Developers withdraw rezoning application for huge Parksville waterfront plan

IAG to create new draft after processing public feedback

IAG Developments is going back to the drawing board with a proposed seven-building development on Parksville’s waterfront.

Alex Watson, Chief Operating Officer for IAG, says they have withdrawn an application to rezone 113 and 161 Island Highway in Parksville.

The development team was set to appear at Parksville city council on Monday Sept. 17 to present a report regarding their application to amend the official community plan and zoning bylaw to allow for high-rise development on the properties.

“If we had gone to council on Monday, we weren’t going to be going with a significantly different proposal,” said Watson. “Based on the last two meetings, they probably would have denied our application. And that would have meant we’d have a six-month moratorium on doing anything with the city.”

Watson says the company needs more time in order to process public feedback.

He said during IAG’s open houses on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12, they received 345 written submissions from members of the public. He also says he has received continual emails about the project.

Watson says IAG takes the public feedback seriously.

“We’ll take all this information in, and try and find a way to make this work the best we can,” said Watson. “We’re taking their thoughts into consideration, and we’re going to continue trying to move the project forward.”

He says the response to the project has been fairly balanced, with some people excited about the prospect, and others skeptical and downright unhappy with the height and concerns about stress on Parksville’s infrastructure.

He stressed that this is not the end of the project, but rather a time to re-evaluate. He says IAG will organize the feedback and draft a new plan over the course of the next couple months.

The variety of opinions in the town don’t make it a simple process.

“A lot of the responses are not cut-and-dry,” said Watson.

Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne is optimistic about the development overall, but said that many people are concerned about the height and size of the development. He’d like to see the proposal scaled back somewhat, especially when it comes to height.

“Council as a whole really liked the project. They didn’t like the heights of the building. Everybody you talk to – it comes back to basically that comment,” said Mayne.

“We were getting 10-12 emails a day saying that they don’t want this because it’s too high.

“Every one of them mentioned the same thing.”

Mayne was unable to comment on exactly how high of a building council would approve, but did say that he would hesitate to approve anything higher than the Beach Club, which stands at nine floors with an additional three levels of parking.

Mayne spoke about the need to respect the wishes of community members, but also mentioned that Parksville is in serious need of attracting more young workers to the area.

He says that the percentage of the population in the workforce has been steadily decreasing over the years.

He doesn’t see it getting any better unless the city works to attract young families and workers by supplying adequate housing and community amenities.

“Most young families would be happy to live in a nice condo or apartment building right on the waterfront, right by the beach, right next to the best park on Vancouver Island,” said Mayne.

Mayne says the best aspect of the development would be the creation of a true city centre that connects the boardwalk, beach and downtown.

“Right now, Parksville doesn’t have a centre of town. That would become one. And I think that is really important,” said Mayne.

It’s now up to the developers to come up with another proposal and re-open the conversation with Parksville city council. Watson says he doesn’t have a hard timeline, and will take the next few months to sort through public feedback in an attempt to propose a more palatable solution.

Given the number of responses and opinions in the city, that job will take some time.

“You’re not going to please everyone… everybody has an opinion on what should be done on that piece of property. It’s not an easy job from their perspective,” said Mayne.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Nanaimo, as seen from the Nanaimo Parkway. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo’s state of the economy report points to positive outlook in hard times

Job losses and shutdowns have hurt, but some sectors showing resiliency

Firefighters from three departments battled a house fire south of Nanaimo for more than nine hours Sunday. (Photo courtesy Martin Leduc)
Home destroyed by fire south of Nanaimo

Firefighters from three fire departments battle blaze fanned by strong southerly winds on Sunday

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared over at Eden Gardens. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Nanaimo’s Eden Gardens

One staff member and one resident tested positive for the virus over past two weeks

Gabriola Island poet Naomi Beth Wakan’s latest book is ‘Wind on the Heath.’ (Photo courtesy Elias Wakan)
Former Nanaimo poet laureate revisits past poems in latest collection

Gabriola Island’s Naomi Beth Wakan presents career-spanning ‘Wind on the Heath’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

Most Read