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Cumberland approves variances for project on former hotel site – Comox Valley Record

Cumberland Council wants a proposed mixed-use building to include a pitched roof to better blend in with its town center neighbours.

It’s not unanimous however where the roof should actually start for the project at 2714 Dunsmuir Ave.

Council discussed the issue last month and asked staff to come back with more information.

In a discussion at the December 13 meeting regarding waiver requests for the four-storey apartment on the site where the Cumberland Hotel now stands, most council members preferred the idea of ​​granting a waiver to allow a building slightly higher than permitted if the top, which covers building infrastructure such as a mechanical room, includes a pitched roof as opposed to a flat roof. The developer has included drawings of both in the agenda folder. The request is for a height allowance, increasing the maximum height from 15 meters to 17 meters to account for the sloping roof.

Com. Vickey Brown agreed with the slope but opposed the idea of ​​a gap, saying the developer could push back the roofline and stay within the height limits.

Other discrepancies to be discussed concerned the number of parking spaces and the coverage of the grounds.

As for lot coverage, demand was three percent higher than the 75 percent maximum. While the building itself covers 68%, the planned parking garage, which includes a Klaus rotating multiple parking system, brings coverage to 77.5%.

“He actually needs variance because he’s oversized,” Brown said.

Com. Gwyn Sproule said she understands the differing views on the project in light of questions about the size of the new buildings.

“It’s one of the biggest and most controversial decisions,” she said. “People are really concerned about the future of Cumberland.”

Council also had to consider an application for a heritage modification permit. During the discussion, which focused on the proposed awnings, council members rejected the idea. Com. Sean Sullivan said that when he asked about awnings before, he was referring to some sort of cladding for the facade of the upper floors, not ground level like what was being proposed in the latest designs.

One detail that was raised was the potential name, the developer’s latest being The Cumberland, although Sullivan said he did not like it as the new building could never replace the Cumberland Hotel.

“There are a million different names we could choose from,” he said.

Plans include some sort of on-site commemoration for the historic downtown building.

Prior to the last meeting, the request had been sent to the Heritage and Accessibility and Inclusion Commissions, as well as the Planning Advisory Commission.

Regarding the decision, the staff recommendation was to approve a Heritage Alteration Permit as well as the Development Exemption Permit to waive the special parking spaces for recreational vehicles and tour buses, or for women pregnant or people with young children, to waive the requirement of two cargo spaces, allow to increase the coverage of the terrain up to 78% and the maximum height of 17 meters for the sloping roof. Additionally, staff suggested council reject the developer’s request to reduce regular parking requirements of eight spaces, which can be covered by cash in lieu, as well as special parking designations for electric vehicles or disabled people.

Ultimately, the board approved a motion following the recommendations, with only Brown voting in opposition.


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Cumberland Development