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Alex Watson, Chief Operating Officer for IAG, says they have withdrawn an application to rezone 113 and 161 Island Highway in Parksville.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

(BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTO)
Nanaimo man killed in Highway 4 crash

RCMP say dirt bike turned ‘suddenly’ into traffic

Nanaimo RCMP arrest man with axe in downtown park. (File photo)
Man seen with axe at Nanaimo park, numerous RCMP officers respond

Incident happened Friday evening at Maffeo Sutton Park

Nanaimo Track and Field club member Olivia Lundman set a Canadian record in the U18 3,000-metre race walk event at meet in Kamloops this past weekend. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo Track and Field Club race walker sets national record at her first meet of the season

Olivia Lundman breaks 30-year-old mark in U18 3,000-metre race walk

BC Liberal candidate Duck Paterson on the campaign trail. (Submitted photo)
BC Liberal candidate Duck Paterson clarifies position on climate change

Paterson calls human activity a ‘contributing’ factor and says climate change must be addressed

Bouquet to the person who sent the beef about the rude couple at the fast food restaurant. I want to say a huge thank you for standing up for that poor person who had to endure their bullying. That couple would be my father and his girlfriend. It’s about time someone told them off.
Beefs & Bouquets, Oct. 21

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Candidates in the Nanaimo riding include Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberal Party, top left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; Lia Versaevel, Green Party. (Photos submitted/News Bulletin photo/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Parksville-Qualicum riding include Rob Lyon, B.C. Green Party, top left; Don Purdey, Conservatives; John St. John, independent; Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberals; and Adam Walker, B.C. NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding include Chris Istace, B.C. Green Party, top left; Duck Paterson, B.C. Liberals; and Doug Routley, NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Rotary Centennial Garden at Maffeo Sutton Park. (Sean Fenzl photo)
New Rotary garden officially open at Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park

Rotary Centennial Garden design inspired by the shoreline

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Most Read