An artist’s rendering of 22 townhouses proposed for 497 Menzies Ridge Dr. near Buttertubs Marsh. (Raymond de Beeld Architect Inc. image)

An artist’s rendering of 22 townhouses proposed for 497 Menzies Ridge Dr. near Buttertubs Marsh. (Raymond de Beeld Architect Inc. image)

Nanaimo city council approves 22 townhouses close to Buttertubs Marsh

Council issues development permit at 497 Menzies Ridge Dr.

A proposed townhouse development near Buttertubs Marsh that is cause for concern for some neighbours has gotten a permit to proceed.

Nanaimo city council, at a meeting Jan. 17, approved a development permit application for 22 townhouses at 497 Menzies Ridge Dr. in the Hawthorne neighbourhood, about 10 metres away from Buttertubs Marsh Park.

The townhouses will be situated in seven buildings on the property. Each home will be two storeys and approximately 1,450 square feet, with two bedrooms, a den and a single-car garage.

“The building design is contemporary and presents well” on the streets it faces, said Jeremy Holm, the city’s director of development approvals. He added that the landscape plan “includes elements that are complementary to the marsh and extends the indigenous vegetation into the site.”

The applicant qualified for density bonusing by planning a public walkway through the property and through energy-efficiency and water-conservation measures.

Holm classified the application’s landscape buffer and fence height variances as “very minor” and said staff recommended supporting the development permit application.

At a public hearing a year and a half ago, 12 residents spoke against a covenant amendment application to allow 22 units on the property – an increase from 10 units – citing concerns about density, traffic, parking and public safety, according to minutes from the meeting. The city was also presented at that time with a petition with 187 signatures, with 92 per cent of respondents opposed, but councillors ended up voting 6-3 in favour of amending the covenant, with councillors Ben Geselbracht, Zeni Maartman and Ian Thorpe opposed.

“I know that this application has caused some challenges for the community to accept, but I think this is a really good example of a nice infill development,” said Coun. Erin Hemmens at last week’s meeting.

The development permit application was approved 8-0, with Coun. Tyler Brown removing himself from the vote due to a business relationship with one of the proponents.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo city council denies permit for cabin on islet off Protection Island

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An artist’s rendering of townhouses proposed for 497 Menzies Ridge Dr. near Buttertubs Marsh. (Raymond de Beeld Architect Inc. image)

An artist’s rendering of townhouses proposed for 497 Menzies Ridge Dr. near Buttertubs Marsh. (Raymond de Beeld Architect Inc. image)

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