Members of the public will get another chance to share their opinions on a proposed mixed-used development in Lantzville.
District councillors voted in favour of holding another public hearing for a proposed zoning amendment bylaw for property at 7143 Caillet Rd, which is the site of CruisePlus. The travel company is hoping to redevelop its commercial office space into a mixed-use building.
Councillors had previously voted in favour on the first two readings of the proposed zoning amendment, which if approved, would permit a mix of commercial use and up to 10 residential units on the property. However, third reading failed due to a tie vote back in July. Last month, councillors decided to re-vote on third reading and had intended to do so during Monday’s meeting before deciding to hold another public meeting later this month.
Dave Frinton, CruisePlus co-president, told the News Bulletin all he’s trying to do is build a new home for his business.
“We employ a lot of people. We’ve been helpful and good for the Lantzville economy and we are a believer in Lantzville and we want to stay there,” he said.
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CruisePlus has been operating in Lantzville for more than two decades. The company offers a range of higher-end travel packages to destinations around the globe and employs more than two dozen people.
Frinton said while he’s heard comments against his proposed idea for the Caillet Road property, he’s heard comments about his business that are untrue. He said CruisePlus is not simply a call centre, but a travel agency that provides employees with good salaries.
“We do get a lot of people who walk through the door and we get a lot of customers who come see us,” he said.
Frinton said the plans fit within the OCP and don’t stray away from what the latest community survey results say for the village core. He said economics are a factor in the decision to propose a mixed-use space, instead of just a commercial building and that he’s not a big developer with deep pockets, but rather a small locally owned business that’s trying to remain in the community.
“To build just the building on its own is super expensive,” he said. “We are just trying to offset the cost a little. While we are a successful business, that does not mean we are gazillionaires and can just throw money at stuff. It has to make sense.”
Although the an approved rezoning would allow for as many as 10 residential units on the site, Frinton said it’s highly unlikely the building would ever reach that number.
“We want to have the condos a decent size and the reality is we’ve got a parking issue,” he said.
Frinton said he’s been looking at other properties and will consider all his options once council has made a decision on his application. He said he’d prefer to remain in Lantzville with a new building.
“We are just trying to find a win-win,” he said.
The public hearing has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 23 at Lantzville’s district hall.