A 45-room hotel near Nanaimo’s downtown is closer to construction after city council approved development permit variances at Monday’s meeting. (IMAGE SUBMITTED)

Plans move ahead for boutique hotel on Selby Street

Nanaimo city councillors approve variances to development permit, including fewer parking stalls

A 45-room hotel in Nanaimo’s downtown is closer to construction after city council approved development permit variances.

Developers of the project at 440 Selby Street were granted six variances, most significantly a reduction in required parking spaces from 45 to 35. A previous development permit had been approved in 2015 and expired, which is why the project came back to the council table Monday.

“These kind of developments help our downtown. They improve our downtown,” said Coun. Diane Brennan. “If people are coming to our downtown, there’ll be more businesses thriving on the main street and we need to encourage this.”

Dale Lindsay, the city’s director of community development, advised council that the project plans call for only 25 parking spaces on the site. The location falls within an area of the city where developers are permitted payment in lieu of providing parking spaces, so the variance means a payment of $30,000 in lieu of 10 stalls, rather than $60,000 in lieu of 20 stalls.

Coun. Jerry Hong suggested the developer should be on the hook for all 45 stalls. Brennan said asking for more than the staff recommendation of 35 stalls felt like gouging, and said fewer parking spaces seems to be in line with the city’s stated transportation and climate goals.

“Why wouldn’t a developer expect that that’s what he or she is going to encounter when they come to Nanaimo to do business?” she asked.

Coun. Jim Kipp said his opposition to the variance wasn’t about gouging.

“This is making a guy live to a payment that is in our bylaw that says if you can’t provide the [parking spaces] on your site, you pay a fee…” he said. “We’re just making them live to the rule that’s written.”

Councillors Sheryl Armstrong and Gord Fuller also opposed the variance due to parking concerns, and Coun. Bill Bestwick, though he voted in favour of the variance, said he’s “frustrated with the parking and parking is a common thread of frustration that I receive.”

Coun. Bill Yoachim also voted in favour.

“I don’t think [parking] should be a deal-breaker, but be creative…” he said. “I think if there’s a will, there’s a way. [A hotel] will be be a great change for the area and the street.”

The motion passed with councillors Armstrong, Fuller, Kipp and Hong opposed.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Clippers win and will keep focused till the break

Nanaimo Clippers defeated Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Wednesday

Nanaimo RCMP warning public about rise in break-and-enters

Break-ins up more than 50 per cent compared to same time in 2017, say police

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: It will take city unity for change to happen

How much more time and money will council require to make change actually come, asks letter writer

Nanaimo council faces taxpayer questions about budget

Preliminary 2019 budget now includes potential tax increase of 5.08 per cent

Lantzville councillors give themselves 45-per cent pay raise

Council pay increase to take effect in 2019

Mental health issue suspected after spike belts end car chase in Lantzville

Woman in her 30s from the Nanaimo area detained after Tuesday afternoon incident

Nanaimo city council will reconsider waterfront walkway plan

Project included in financial plan but councillors want to examine scope and timelines

Customers at new Quality Foods finding spare change for Coins for Kids

Charity getting a boost from new bigger, busier Harewood location

Supportive housing in Nanaimo isn’t a victory for homeless people, say advocates

Alliance Against Displacement criticizes how shutdown of Discontent City was handled

Chamber wants to know about Nanaimo’s best Christmas light displays

Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, News Bulletin partner on Spirit of Christmas Light Up

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Most Read