Development can proceed at Parksville’s old Beach Resort site.
City council unanimously voted in favour to grant Timberlake-Jones Engineering a development permit for 113 and 161 Island Highway, at the latest council meeting on Monday, Jan. 18.
As initially proposed at the Nov. 16, 2020, council meeting, Timberlake-Jones Engineering intends to build a two-storey, 200-seat restaurant, an outdoor pool and an 84-site RV campground at the high-profile property.
At that time, the matter was referred by council to the city’s advisory design panel for fencing and landscaping concerns.
Monday, unanimous approval was granted with an amendment that the proposed chain-link fence located adjacent to the boardwalk be changed to coincide with city park fencing, as a term of permit.
Coun. Doug O’Brien first brought up his concerns about the use of a black chain-link fence around the property, and how it would not align with the continuity of the existing fence in the community park.
Coun. Marilyn Wilson emphasized that a chain-link fence does not “fit” with the feel of a downtown revitalization project.
“This is a world-class beach and tourism is a huge part of our economy here. So I think that all of our developments going forward should reflect a higher standard,” she said.
While discussions about the black chain-link fence were exhaustive, Coun. Al Greir also commented on the economic impact, or lack thereof, that the RV campground might have on the city.
“The thing about trailer parks as well, economically they’re known for not spending a lot of money in the community. They buy groceries, they buy booze, and that’s about it. So economically it doesn’t do the city any good to have such a trailer park as well,” said Greir.
Coun. Adam Fras said he would be happy just to see development on the property and still considers it an improvement, stating the current derelict building has been “an upset for the community for quite some time.”
While Fras anticipates the restaurant will remain for “years to come,” he considers the campground as something that could potentially be changed down the line.
“This might not be my first choice as to what I’d like to see for that area, but I do believe this kind of placeholder project is temporary. Just when I look at the nature of what they’re doing, they’re not making drastic permanent changes or things that couldn’t be changed,” said Fras.