The District of Port Hardy has approved a zoning bylaw needed for a possible 70-80 unit residential development near Tsulquate Park in Port Hardy.
At their regular council meeting on May 22, the district adopted Bylaw No. 1078-2018, which rezones a property located at 8700 Park Drive from “R-2 Duplex Residential” to “Comprehensive Development Zone-9” permitting duplex dwelling, apartment dwelling, attached dwelling, and community care facility.
Pathfinder Development Corporation applied to the district for the rezoning, which the company needed in order for the sale of the property to go through.
The district held two public hearings on May 9 at the Port Hardy council chamber to gather input from the public, where questions were raised about the eagles’ nest located on the property, the tsunami zone, and the density of the development.
“We all heard the concerns about the wildlife and the tsunami zone, and the concerns about the development maybe being a lot more people in that one area than expected,” said Coun. Pat Corbett-Labatt, “this is just looking at changing it to a comprehensive zone so if the bylaw is passed the development has to come back to this table.”
Director of Operations, Abbas Farahbakhsh, stated there are regulations regarding eagles’ nests so that a certain radius around the tree is protected and that, “as with any other development, this development will be governed by that.”
Mayor Hank Bood noted the subdivision bylaws will also have to be followed, “so the entrances and exits and all that sort of thing are going to have to be to our satisfaction before something goes ahead.”
Coun. Fred Robertson said he sees the proposed development in a positive light. “I see it as a group wanting to do something in the community — invest in the community and I say ‘okay, well, let’s take it one step at a time’, and this is one of those steps,” said Robertson.
Coun. Dennis Dugas noted the shortage of housing in Port Hardy, stating he also sees the possible new development as a positive.
“We are privy to the concerns of residents in the area — but I think we have to move forward on this to send a positive message to people that are going to come in and do development in our community that we are open for business,” said Dugas. “There’s going to be a discussion in regards to the development, but I think that all of those things can be dealt with.”
Bood noted if the development ends up being a strata complex, it will mean the building will be well kept and that “it will be good for Port Hardy to have buildings newer than when the mine was built.”
The proposed development will be designed by Whistler-based architect Derek Venter, of DVAD INC., once the sale of the property to the Pathfinder Development Corporation goes through.
“It is a very good thing that our community has progressed to the point that we have people, developers, looking to invest their money in Port Hardy,” said Bood. “We are here as a group to make sure that development is the best that it can be and it will provide some new housing for people that want to live in a new place in a very pretty spot.”
Bylaw No. 1078-2018 was approved unanimously by council after the second and third readings were heard.