Ladysmith Town Council gathered at Eagles Hall for the public hearing (Cole Schisler photo)

Ladysmith Town Council gathered at Eagles Hall for the public hearing (Cole Schisler photo)

Belair Street development ready for next steps following public hearing

Fred Green’s Belair Street development cleared another hurdle at a Town of Ladysmith public hearing

Fred Green’s Belair Street development cleared another hurdle at a Town of Ladysmith public hearing held on December 2.

Town Council voted in favour of the amendments under Zoning Amendment Bylaw 2020 and Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 2018. The OCP Amemdment Bylaw proceeded with third reading and final adoption, and the Zoning Amendement Bylaw proceeded through third reading and was referred to the Ministry of Transportation because the site is within 800 metres of a controlled highway. This will allow Green to move forward with the development.

This is Green’s third public meeting. He hosted two public meetings at his own expense. The project idea was developed through consultation with Ladysmith residents during that process. This public hearing was a legal requirement under the Local Government Act for the Town to proceed with final adoption of the bylaw amendments.

RELATED: What would you like to see at abandoned Ladysmith police station site?

“There’s a value to having the several public meetings that I funded and held over the course of the summer so that everybody could have a chance to understand the project, and get their input into it,” Green said. “I’m pleased with the final outcome, and I think it’s a result of being very rigorous, and hopefully having set the gold standard for the community engagement for these types of processes.”

Green will now finalize the exact details of the development. He will then seek a development permit, and a building permit to commence construction. There will also be environmental remediation work, and possible demolition work to remove the old RCMP building.

“We still have many months of grinding ahead of us. Hopefully with the rezoning established we can start these next steps,” Green said.

The proposed project is a three-storey building with a maximum height of 11 metres. The main floor will house some type of commercial development, likely a brewpub or cafe. The upper levels will be residential units.

Four residents of the surrounding area spoke against the development. Jo Sheridan, who lives at Bellwood Village, said she has enjoyed living in the area, and often spoken with her neighbours about what would potentially replace the former RCMP station that currently occupies the site.

“Never in our wildest dreams, in our worst nightmares, did we imagine that in the heart of this area there would be a proposed brewpub,” Sheridan said. “On top of the brewpub, we could never have imagined there would be a tall modern building, that architecturally is nothing like the buildings around it.”

Sheridan expressed concerns about views being blocked, increased noise and traffic to the area, and possible smells from the site. She also said she was particularly concerned about the availability of parking around the site.

RELATED: Old police station development going ahead as “mixed-use” site

Vince Herkel of Rigby Place presented a petition signed by residents of the surrounding area requesting that Town Council vote against the proposed amendments. The petition was signed by 26 people.

Doug Judson also spoke against the project. He lived in the area when the RCMP station was operational, and remembers the RCMP putting up signs to prohibit parking along Rigby Place. Judson was concerned that the concept drawings are, ‘not relevant’ to how the project will look in reality.

“I want to see the lights turned on in that building. I want to see something done, but this is not it,” Judson said.

Judson has worked in contracting for 32 years. He said he read through all applicable Town of Ladysmith bylaws and requirements for this development to move forward, and he does not believe the building can proceed while meeting the requirements.

“Everything that’s going to happen after [zoning] is going to hit a brick wall. I cannot see this neighbourhood benefiting from this when it goes in,” he said.

On the question of parking, director of development services, Jake Belobaba clarified that there will be adequate parking spaces to meet the demand of the proposed development. At full build out, there will be 40 parking spaces in the area, which includes both on-site and street parking on Belair and Rigby. This includes the requirements for commercial, residential, and frontage improvements.

Councillors expressed that they were compelled by submissions from the surrounding neighbourhood, however they ultimately voted in favour of the resolutions. Council cited the need of the Town as a whole, balanced with the needs of nearby residents.

“In the end, our guidance is always to do what we feel is best for the greatest number of the community, and balance that with those in the immediate area. It’s not an easy decision for council,” Mayor Aaron Stone said.

Councillor Marsh Stevens said by his count, the Town received 105 letters in favour of the project, and a petition with 148 names, opposed to 10 letters against the project and a petition with 26 names.

Council voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Freighter anchored off Kin Beach in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
MacGregor to host expert panel for virtual town hall on freighter anchorages issue

Residents can participate through MP’s website or Facebook page Dec. 3

Homes ranging from $400,000 to $700,000 are the fastest sellers. (File photo)
High demand and low inventory drive a competitive housing market in Ladysmith

VIREB’s Susan Perrey said buyers are looking to take advantage of low interest rates

École North Oyster. (Black Press file)
With more student drop-offs during pandemic, SD68 examines safety outside North Oyster school

Fewer school bus trips and more cars accentuating traffic concerns, say school district staff

Downtown is believed to be one of the areas best poised for new developments. (File photo)
Development remains consistent in lead up to official community plan process

Pandemic or no pandemic, Ladysmith is growing. New developments have sprung up… Continue reading

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Most Read