Marina owners say bylaw changes ‘unfair’

New zoning would limit development options on property

Pitt Meadows Marina

The owners of a Pitt Meadows marina are panning proposed changes to the city’s zoning bylaw which could drastically change what development is permitted on their property.

Northland Properties called the plan to switch from a CS-1 zone, which permits a broad range of commercial uses to an outdoor recreation zone with fewer permitted uses “unfair”.

Northland told city council it purchased the property in 2007 because of the CS-1 zoning which has limited restrictions on density and lot size.

The proposed outdoor recreation zone “takes away a very large majority of these rights”.

In a note to council, Northland wrote the owners proceeded with the purchase of the Reichenbach Road property “in good faith and trust in the municipality that the CS-1 zoning would remain.”

Bernie Malach, general counsel for Northland, said they are currently working on a solution with city staff.

Northland has asked the city for a compromise, if the new zoning is tacked on to the marina property, that will allow warehouses and retain limited restrictions on lot size and density.

“We have a good relationship with the city and we will deal with accordingly,” said Malach, who refused to elaborate further on Northland’s concerns about the bylaw changes.

The city’s land use bylaw has undergone a major overhaul and has already received first and second reading.

Council wants Northland to provide a concrete plan that clearly details what they have planned for the marina site.

Some members of council are opposed to “assembly of goods” or warehouses on the property.

In 2005, a company owned by Nelson Skalbania, former owner of the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and B.C. Lions, sought rezoning to redevelop the Pitt Meadows Marina site on Reichenbach Road into a RV resort.

Those plans were turfed after environmental groups and neighbouring property owners opposed the resort proposal, saying it would increase traffic and harm sensitive environmental areas.

Under the current CS-1 zoning, Northland can build a range of facilities that include warehouse storage, fast food outlets, a funeral parlour, recreation facilities like a race track or bowling alley, or a car dealership.

A public hearing on the proposed bylaw will be held at city hall on Sept. 20.

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