The Mills family received the adoption of a zoning amendment they were after to build a cottage-style housing but it didn’t come without its headaches.
Dr. Howard Mills spoke for the project at the Sept. 4 council meeting regarding his and wife Ruth’s proposal to build what they call Pyne Hamlet near their current business of Minette Bay Lodge.
Their plan would be a small community of cottages available for lease. At previous meetings Howard has referred to this niche as accommodating people such as temporarily-placed executives tied to regional development projects.
Council had given two readings to an amendment to the G4-A rural resort zone to allow for the development, ahead of a third and final reading.
Town planners did want a covenant registered at the BC Land Title Office to clarify that cottages would be for temporary or seasonal accommodation, however the report from administration said that that plan was opposed by the Mills.
Planners believed that the covenant would have prevent potential confusion that could come from building multiple detached homes on a single lot.
Mills also said that a previous suggestion from town planners — which was not incorporated into council’s zoning amendment report — to combine their two parcels of land, including the one Minette Bay Lodge uses, would not work. He said such a proposal would mean putting the Lodge up for collateral with a bank.
He commented that he saw no reason for the planner’s comments which only caused confusion.
Meanwhile after a lengthy discussion, councillors were very ready to put as little friction on the project as possible. Council unanimously passed third and final reading of the bylaw amendment, which remained much the same as earlier readings except for some additional and expanded wording in the bylaw, added for clarity.
Feldhoff described passing the bylaw as it was as a compromise to get the project moving.
“It may not be the perfect outcome but in my opinion time is of the essence and I’m really excited by the development the Mills are putting forward,” he said. “I think it’s in the best interest of the community to allow them to proceed.”