The former Knox Presbyterian Church closed its doors three or four years ago, and its new owners would like to convert it to a single family dwelling. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Alberni family applies to convert old church into single home

Public hearing set for Feb. 13, 6 p.m. at city hall

A family wants to convert the old Knox Presbyterian Church building at the corner of Rex Road and Regina Avenue into a single family dwelling.

The former church itself sits on two lots, and the old parking lot comprises the third lot of the site. The Knutsons own the property now, and have applied to rezone the property from institutional to one- and two-family residential.

A public hearing is planned for tonight (Feb. 13, 2018) at 6 p.m. at city hall, where city council and the general public can hear about the application.

The property served as Knox Presbyterian Church from 1967, when the congregation built the church until a few years ago, when the church closed.

City planner Scott Smith said the new zoning would allow the present owner to convert the former church building into a single family residential dwelling, and that the third lot could hold a new single family house or duplex. “The Official Community Plan is supportive of encouraging development within existing developed areas through infill and redevelopment,” Smith noted.

“The proposed zoning is compatible with the neighbourhood.” The city’s development services department supports the zoning amendment to the R2 zone, he added.

Although the front and rear setbacks won’t conform with the residential zoning, Smith recommended they remain as non-conforming. The parks department requested that the boulevard trees remain in place, and that if the property owner is to consider removing the boulevard trees that they must ask the city first.

City council received and accepted the advisory planning council’s recommendations and gave first and second reading to the zoning amendment on Sept. 5, 2017. One of the recommendations was that the present owners complete a site survey of all existing buildings on the properties in question, and that an application for a building permit to convert the former church to a residential dwelling be obtained prior to a public hearing. The city received the site survey on Jan. 5, 2018.

The public hearing takes place in council chambers at Port Alberni City Hall, 4850 Argyle St.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

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