PUBLIC HEARING

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Minutes of the Public Hearing held on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 in the boardroom of the Comox Valley Regional District offices located at 550B Comox Road, Courtenay, BC commencing at 7:00 pm.
 
 
MINUTES
     
 
Present:
Chair:E. GrievePuntledge/Black Creek (Area 'C')
Director:D. ArbourBaynes Sound-Denman/Hornby Islands (Area 'A')
 A. HamirLazo North (Area 'B')
Staff:T. TrieuManager of Planning Services
 J. MartensManager of Legislative Services
 B. ChowRural Planner
 A. BaldwinLegislative Services Assistant
 
   
RECOGNITION OF TRADITIONAL TERRITORIES
The Chair acknowledged that the meeting was being held on the unceded traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation.
 
 
OPENING REMARKS BY THE CHAIR
Chair Grieve read a prepared statement regarding the public hearing procedures.
 
 
Approximately 15 members of the public were present for this public hearing.
 
 
INTRODUCTION OF THE APPLICATION
B. Chow, Rural Planner, provided a brief description of the zoning bylaw amendment application (RZ 5C 18) for an unaddressed lot on Wilfred Road (Unger). Two comments were received prior to the public hearing that were not supportive of the application. The proposed R- 1-10 zone reduces the minimum lot area for subdivision to enable a three-lot subdivision if the applicants donate approximately 0.45 hectares of the property as park space to CVRD and offer a five metre wide statutory right of way to provide access to this proposed donated land.
 
 
The following material was provided for information regarding Bylaw 593 being "Rural Comox Valley Zoning Bylaw No. 520, 2019, Amendment No. 1"
 
 
- Zoning Bylaw Amendment application; [Item
 
 
- Bylaw 593 being "Rural Comox Valley Zoning Bylaw No. 520, 2019, Amendment No. 1"; [Item
 
 
- Staff reports dated January 23, 2019 and December 2, 2019; [Item
 
 
- Agency referrals and responses; [Item
 
 
- Excerpts from the minutes of the Electoral Areas Services Committee meetings, the Comox Valley Regional District Board meetings and the Advisory Planning Commission meetings; and [Item
 
 
- The public hearing notice for publication in the local newspaper on January 14 and January 16, 2020. [Item
 
 
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED
Written submissions pertaining to the Zoning Bylaw Amendment application (RZ 5C 18) for an unaddressed lot on Wilfred Road (Unger) received prior to this public hearing which are attached and form part of these minutes. [Item
 
 
Written submissions pertaining to the Zoning Bylaw Amendment application (RZ 5C 18) for an unaddressed lot on Wilfred Road (Unger) received at the public hearing which are attached and form part of these minutes. [Item
 
 
PRESENTATION BY APPLICANT
The applicant, Garth Parkin, spoke to the zoning bylaw amendment application (RZ 5C 18) for an unaddressed lot on Wilfred Road (Unger) and addressed some of the comments raised in the written submissions. Mr. Parkin remarked that they had first started the application in 2016, at which time the regional district encouraged higher density. The owners were only interested in a small three-lot subdivision in accordance with the surrounding lots. Mr. Parkin said that the property was put up for sale at the time and they were approached by a developer and densification was raised again. The owners however wanted a small unobtrusive subdivision. Mr. Parkin commented there was some controversy about subdivision of the land and the regional district put safeguards in place, such as a riparian assessment, a wastewater assessment, etc. The consensus was that the land is not wet and that it is only wet in the north-east corner. There is a confluence of the stream that flows into the wetlands, which is the area designated as the park area. Mr. Parkin further commented that they had 20 perk holes dug in December 2016 after heavy rains. Eleven of the perk holes were dry and the highest water table was 24" below grade. Mr. Parkin spoke regarding the comment received in opposition to the development and remarked that there is a proposed 143 lot subdivision at Saratoga Beach Estates, whereas the applicants are only asking for two additional water connections. Mr. Parkin said that he assumed that, because the area falls within a settlement node, the regional district would have some answer to the water situation. Mr. Parkin further commented regarding the septic and said there is probably four feet of natural 'perkable' material, but that a pressure system would probably be installed. Mr. Parkin remarked that it is probably better to deal with two local people who are only interested in a small development. .
 
 
REPRESENTATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC
Members of the public in attendance were invited to provide comments regarding the Zoning Bylaw Amendment application (RZ 5C 18) for an unaddressed lot on Wilfred Road (Unger).
 
 
Dan Charles, 8710 Paulsen Road, adjacent property owner: Mr. Charles provided comments in opposition to the application from a prepared statement which is attached and forms part of these minutes.
 
 
Gerry Caplap, 8752 Paulsen Road: Mr Caplap spoke in opposition to the application and provided comments from a prepared statement which is attached and forms part of these minutes. In addition to these comments, Mr. Caplap remarked that it is his understanding that the proposed third well to increase water capacity for the Black-Creek Oyster Bay area is a no go and yet development continues, which places more demand on capacity. Mr. Caplap further commented that the amount to be donated is a fraction of what is shown on earlier maps. Mr. Caplap commented that it was more in the order of 2.5 acres as opposed to the proposed 1 acre donation. Mr. Caplap commented that until the regional district has an answer for the shortage in water capacity, no further development should occur.
 
 
Henry Unger, owner: Mr. Unger commented that they have lived in the area for 40 years with a long family history and they are passionate about what happens in their neighbourhood. Mr. Unger commented that the letters which were submitted in response to their application contained a lot of misinformation. Mr. Unger invited Mr. McFarlane and Mr. Charles to discuss the issues which do not line up. Mr. Unger said that they have heard the concerns and he gave the assurance that the issues raised have not been passed over and that they have already been addressed. Mr. Unger said that it had been a long process and a lot of in-depth studies were completed and that they are not on opposite sides. It is their hope to get the rezoning done.
 
 
Kolby Koschack, 8680 Whelan Road: Mr. Koschack outlined his family history and connection to the area and said that he grew up in the area. Mr. Koschack remarked that there are two water sources on the property, a stream that runs through the property as well as a creek at the top end of the property. Mr Koschack commented that the area is very wet, especially during the winter months. Mr. Koschack further remarked that there is no accessible network of trails and walkways in the community and he feels that this is an opportunity to connect already existing trails. Mr. Koschack feels that this is a significant piece of land and an opportunity to build something up for the community.
 
 
Jen Robertson, Paulsen Road: Ms. Robertson invited the directors to walk the property tomorrow to see how wet it is and remarked that they would be quite shocked.
 
 
Adreanna Cowan 8726 Paulsen Road: Ms. Cowan remarked that there is no doubt that the area where the creek that runs through Mr. Unger's property beside her property to the wetlands should be protected. Ms. Cowan commented that it is down to hard pan and if her kids fell in it, they would be swept away. Ms. Cowan commented that water goes somewhere and it is quite powerful. Ms. Cowan has called the regional district about this issue as she expressed concern about the school that is in the area. Ms. Cowan remarked that all the water goes to the back, which is where her children play. Ms. Cowan commented that she and her family are not in favour of the rezoning and feels that the current zoning is perfect.
 
 
QUESTIONS FROM DIRECTORS
In response to a question from Director Hamir to clarify the densification under the proposed R1-10 zone, CVRD staff advised one of the subdivision requirements for the Residential One Exception 10 (R-1-10) is an amenity contribution to allow a reduced the minimum lot size from 8 ha to 1 ha to accommodate a three lot subdivision. It was also confirmed that one full sized single family dwelling and one carriage house would be permitted on each new lot.
 
 
In response to a question from Director Hamir regarding water connections to the Black Creek Oyster Bay (BCOB) Water Service, CVRD staff confirmed that each new lot would require a connection to the BCOB Water Service. Staff read a portion of the staff report dated December 2, 2019 that confirms capacity for this proposal by the CVRD Engineering Services Branch.
 
 
In response to a question from Director Hamir regarding access to the portion of the property that would be designated parkland, staff confirmed that the amenity contribution is intended for conservation, the streamside protection and enhancement area around the water course restricts any development and staff do not envisage public access to that area. The five metre statutory right of way is required to provide access to CVRD staff/contractors for any work that may be required related to the parkland.
 
 
In response to a question from Director Hamir regarding the subdivision process and how lot lines and building envelope are determined, CVRD staff advised that once the CVRD receives a subdivision referral from the Ministry of Transportation (MOTI) the applicant is required to submit reports from qualified professionals. This includes an environmental assessment from a Qualified Environmental Professional and an assessment on rainwater management/geotechnical hazards from a geotechnical engineer. Through the subdivision referral process, staff review these reports in relation to the proposed layout and building envelope to ensure there is adequate space for construction outside of environmentally sensitive/hazardous areas and provide comments of their review to the MOTI.
 
 
Chair Grieve called for any further speakers.
 
 
Dan Charles, 8710 Paulsen Road, spoke for a second time in opposition to the application. Mr. Charles responded to a comment by staff from the December 2, 2019 staff report regarding approved water connections. Mr Charles commented that the staff report dated May 24, 2019 from the CVRD Engineering Department indicated that there is no capacity for additional connections to the BCOB water system. Mr. Charles remarked he spoke with the Engineering Department staff today and they said that these water connections were approved based on the assumption that the third well would be approved. Mr. Charles further remarked that the Engineering Department should not have approved any further connections without the certainty of the third well. Mr. Charles commented that the May 24th report is an imported report and should be looked at.
 
 
Candice Carey, Paulsen Road spoke for a first time. Ms. Carey stated that she did not get a notice as she does not live within the required parameters of the subject property to receive notification. Ms. Carey raised the mosquito problem in the area, which has made provincial and national news. Ms. Carey spoke in opposition to the rezoning application and said that it would result in more water flowing into the bog area, which will provide a greater habitat for the mosquitoes because the water has to go somewhere.
 
 
Kolby Koschack, Whelan Road, spoke for a second time. Mr Koschack enquired what the comments from the First Nations were regarding the application. CVRD staff confirmed that the feedback received from the K’ómoks First Nation and We Wai Kai First Nation were that they did not have any comments. No further responses were received from the other First Nations that were invited to provide comments.
 
 
Gerry Caplap, Paulson Road, spoke for a second time and asked what level of detail is provided to the First Nations and expressed his surprise that the First Nations did not provide comments and/or did not respond, considering the environmentally sensitive impacts of the application. Staff confirmed that the CVRD follows an established referral process and that the First Nations and other regulatory authorities are provided with a cover letter and staff reports with all the relevant studies.

Staff further outlined that the Engineering Department had confirmed at 4:30 pm, prior to the public hearing, that there is adequate capacity in the BCOB water system for this proposal.
 
 
Dan Charles, Paulsen Road, spoke for a third time and commented that this information contravenes all the studies that had been done as outlined in the May 24, 2019 staff report.
 
 
E. Brown, Paulson Road spoke for a first time in opposition to the application and commented that the water issue has been an ongoing issue for many years and has to be dealt with first. Mr. Brown requested confirmation that the regional district is not allowing any more subdivisions until this problem has been solved.

Staff responded that the MOTI is the approving officer for subdivisions.

Mr. Brown commented that no subdivision should be approved until the water issue has been addressed.
 
 
Director Arbour questioned whether the May 24, 2019 report addresses a system wide issue in regards to providing water in the long term for all the service participants and the need for find a solution for the entire system versus the impact of additional houses on the system. CVRD staff confirmed that this is the case.
 
 
CLOSING REMARKS
Chair Grieve provided closing remarks and asked that all written submissions be brought forward.
 
 
TERMINATION
Chair Grieve provided an opportunity for those in attendance to place written submissions in the comment box. Chair Grieve called a second, third and final time for any further submissions regarding Bylaw No. 593.

Dan Charles, Paulsen Road spoke for a fourth time and commented that the water system cannot meet current demands.

Chair Grieve called for a final time for any speakers to come forward. Hearing no speakers the Chair declared the public hearing terminated
 
 
Time: 8:00 pm.
 
 
 


____________________________________
Chair Grieve


____________________________________
Director Hamir


____________________________________
Director Arbour
 
Certified Correct:


____________________________________
Jake Martens
Manager of Legislative Services
 
Recorded By:


____________________________________
Antoinette Baldwin
Legislative Services Assistant

These minutes were received by the Comox Valley Regional District Board on the ____ day of ____________20.
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