City council approved rezoning that will allow an 11-unit Northfield Road townhome proposal to move to the next stage of planning.
At a meeting March 19 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, Nanaimo city council passed first and second readings of a bylaw to rezone 1615 Northfield Road from single-dwelling residential.
Coun. Diane Brennan spoke in favour of the project, which she said had been looked at by the city’s community development committee.
“They really liked this plan; it was approved unanimously, it was approved quickly,” she said, adding that she likes the idea of higher density at a location within walking distance of services and the hospital as a workplace. “It ticks all the boxes that we’ve asked for.”
Coun. Bill Bestwick said while 11 units might not seem like a lot, to him it sounds like “a heck of a lot” at that location considering the city’s investment into improvements to the Northfield intersection.
“Will there be consideration for right-in, right-out only, or are we going to have people coming up Northfield Road going west – and there won’t be a left turn lane in there – stopping traffic behind them to get into where they live?” he asked.
Dale Lindsay, the city’s director of community development, said the proposal is for the project to share a road access with an adjacent property.
“It’s been reviewed by our transportation management group. Yes, it will add traffic to Northfield Road, but overall, it will be a relatively minor amount relative to the traffic we currently see on that road and at that intersection,” Lindsay said.
Notably, the property is owned by Ron Cantelon, former Nanaimo city councillor and Parksville-Qualicum MLA.
Bestwick was the only councillor to oppose first reading of the rezoning bylaw. Bestwick also opposed a motion to direct staff to secure a community contribution prior to adoption of the bylaw if it is supported at third reading.
The proposed project will still need to pass through the development permit stage.