Mid Island Co-op is proposing a gas station and convenience store in the north end of Ladysmith. (News Bulletin file photo)

Mid Island Co-op is proposing a gas station and convenience store in the north end of Ladysmith. (News Bulletin file photo)

Ladysmith looks at gas station proposal, considers phasing out gas station zoning

Mid Island Co-op applies for re-zoning for gas bar and convenience store in north end of town

Ladysmith council has advanced plans for a gas station and convenience store along the highway in the north end of town.

Council, at a meeting Tuesday, Jan. 10, at the Ladysmith Seniors Centre, voted to send a re-zoning application for 1132-1142 Rocky Creek Rd. to the public hearing stage.

The applicant, Mid Island Co-op, is proposing a gas bar, commercial cardlock gas station, electric vehicle charging station and a convenience store on five vacant lots on the east side of the highway next to a planned commercial development at Ludlow Road.

“Mid Island Co-op supports the community vision for this growing area of Ladysmith,” noted Nigel Gray, principal planner with MacDonald Gray Consultants Inc., in correspondence with the town.

The subject properties are already zoned for a gas station, so the public hearing will be held to help council determine whether to approve re-zoning for the convenience store.

Staff recommended the re-zoning application go to the public hearing stage, but noted in a report that town council might want to consider phasing out gas station zoning.

“With some projections suggesting electric vehicles will reach price parity with conventional vehicles as early as 2025, mandates requiring all new vehicles to be electric by 2035, lengthy remediation timelines and what appears to be an abundance of fuel stations in and near Ladysmith, there is a strong argument that the town should not allow additional gas stations in the community or should impose conditions requiring remediation and redevelopment prior to allowing any new gas stations to be built,” the staff report noted.

The report went on to suggest that the town consider ‘spot zoning’ existing gas stations and remove gas bars as permitted land uses under zoning bylaws, meaning any new gas station proposals would have to go through a public process.

“I think the case that’s presented here by staff is good. We’re good with gas stations. Compared to … nearby communities, we’re really well-supplied, even though we’re a drive-through community,” said Coun. Ray Gourlay. “I’d be happy to explore [spot zoning] down the road, but I will also support this motion.”

Mayor Aaron Stone said he would also support exploring spot zoning after the current application goes through the process, “however it may end up.”

Mid Island Co-op has indicated it would submit designs as part of the development permit process if its re-zoning application is successful.

READ ALSO: Commercial plaza with coffee shop, dollar store in north end of Ladysmith receives permit


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