Even before a public meeting has been held, Berkey’s Corner area residents are already lining up with concerns about a proposed commercial centre.
Ben Buss said he has seen that traffic is already heavy and complicated there with commuter traffic coming from both nearby built up areas and Cowichan Lake.
He also pointed out that because of the handy location of Berkey’s Corner it is also used extensively by loaded gravel trucks and other industrial trucks, not to mention school buses.
Buss said that because there have been problems with speeding motorists just up the street near Skinner Road, North Cowichan has already taken steps to improve safety by installing a barrier to protect the properties there.
He called on councillors to take a close look at how much road traffic the streets in that area can bear.
Dan Robin urged councillors to look thoroughly into the past record of the developer, saying that the company had previously applied for a similar commercial centre in Revelstoke.
Meanwhile one of the owners of the gas station already located at Berkey’s Corner said that although their station has been closed down, it was for health reasons, not for economic ones, and that they planned to re-open.
She asked them to consider that there are already businesses in that area doing some of the things described in the centre’s plans.
Coun. Joyce Behnsen said there is no need for the bus stop shown in the developer’s plans.
She pointed out that there are already three stops nearby, and was able to convince her colleagues to remove a bus stop from the list of covenanted requirements on the development.
Coun. Kate Marsh was concerned that the covenant that North Cowichan staff is asking to be registered against the property be changed to include small tool rental as one of the allowed businesses there. She pointed out that the area includes many families who would probably welcome the chance to be able to rent a lawnmower or a hedge clipper right down the street.
It was pointed out to her that tool rental places often mushroom into businesses that require outdoor storage and that this had been the reason for including it but Marsh was able to convince her colleagues that if outdoor storage was not allowed, such a business might do well.