The regional district quashed two bylaws Friday night (July 23) which would have allowed commercial development in a residential area of Sandspit.
Directors decided not to go through with the rezoning after reading the report of a public hearing held last week in Sandspit, where four residents spoke against the proposal.
The bylaws would have amended zoning and the Moresby Island official community plan in order to rezone two lots from residential to commercial to allow for tourist accommodation.
According to the report of the public hearing, Jim and Gail Henry said the lots were too small for the proposed use of commercial tourist accommodation, and that they were worried about future commercial uses that could create noise and congestion in the neighbourhood, close to the Sandspit Harbour.
Another property owner, Gordon Usher, agreed that the lots were too small for commercial purposes and did not meet the required minimum lot size, and added that the rezoning could add to the decline of year-round residents in Sandspit. He was also concerned about potential hazards created by increased traffic, and with increased sewage usage and the impact on Agnes Creek, which runs through the two lots proposed for rezoning.
Phil Sheils also spoke against the rezoning, saying that residential areas should stay residential and not be used for commercial purposes.
And Mark Walsh, the nearest neighbour on the western border of the property, said he wanted more information about the owners’ plans. He had not been given any information except the rezoning notice from the regional district, he said, adding that he was not necessarily opposed to the plan, just wanted more information.
The proponents, Gordon Heeman and Norman McFarland, made a written submission saying the rezoning would help support growth in the tourism industry. No one else spoke in favour of it.
Meanwhile, administrator Janet Beil said the regional district office has been receiving several requests over the past few months about rezonings and subdivisions on the islands. Ms Beil said this could be a sign that the economy is recovering.
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