A special development permit area for the J.H. Boyd property is not the way to go, the public told the town’s Advisory Planning Commission last week.
“Obviously, it’s controversial,” commission chair Chris Rolls said, introducing the item during a Thursday, August 18, meeting. “Boyd’s never going to open up as a school – that’s a moot point.”
The choice brought to the table was to add a Grosskleg Neighbourhood development permit area to the property, or have it remain as-is; designated institutional and zoned P-1.
After fielding comments from delegate Don Beldessi, who came representing King George Affordable Housing, and Rod Peters from the Lake Cowichan Ratepayers’ Association, the commission decided to keep the J.H. Boyd property as-is.
A similar such decision was made at the previous commission meeting, during which time it was decided that the Palsson Elementary School property remain as-is, without the addition of a development permit area.
During the August 18 meeting, Beldessi also requested that a proposed development permit area be removed from the Evergreen Place seniors affordable housing complex on South Shore Road.
“We don’t see the need of development permit areas applied to P-1 zoned land,” Beldessi said.
The remaining development permit areas in Lake Cowichan include: Watercourse and streamside protection; natural hazard lands; greenhouse gas reduction; downtown; highway commercial, neighbourhood centre and tourism; multi-family; industrial.
“Many (properties) have several that apply,” town planner James van Hemert said.
What is a Development permit area?
• Under a development permit area, more flexibility is awarded than the cut and dry zoning, of which the J.H. Boyd property is P-1.
• Under the development permit area can be various specific guidelines for the property, such as the protection of the natural environment, revitalization goals, among other stipulations.
• The property would remain zoned as-is (J.H. Boyd remaining P-1, as an example).
• The property owner would have to submit a proposal to council before being allowed to go forth.
• According to a recent draft of the town’s Official Community Plan, the point of a D.P.A. is: “To implement the goals, objectives and policies of the Official Community Plan by establishing appropriate development permit areas with justification, objectives, guidelines, and exemptions.”