Creekside Apartments are located on Gertrude Street in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Creekside Apartments are located on Gertrude Street in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Residents oppose changes to parking at Port Alberni apartment unit

Tenants also say maintenance needs to be done before expansion should happen

Owners of an apartment complex in North Port Alberni are hoping to expand, but residents aren’t too happy about some of the proposed changes.

The owners of the Creekside Apartments on Gertrude Street are seeking relief from parking regulations in order to add eight more rental units. They are proposing to reduce the number of required parking spots on the property from 1.25 spaces per unit to 1.08 spaces per unit. This will bring the number of parking spaces down from 33 to 28.

Port Alberni city council voted to issue a permit to Creekside Apartments during a meeting on June 22, which will allow the owners to reduce parking.

City planner Katelyn McDougall explained that the city does not have any specific policy guidelines when it comes to evaluating parking lot requirements.

“The owner has indicated that they believe the parking lot to be underutilized,” said McDougall. Although no specific parking analysis has been undertaken, McDougall agreed that this appears to be the case after a few site visits.

She pointed out that public transit is available on Gertrude Street, as well as public parking. The two apartment buildings also border the Kitsuksis Dyke, which allows for access to the walking path.

During Monday’s council meeting, Councillor Debbie Haggard agreed that the area is “walkable” and has options for public transit.

“There is such a strong need for rental units in our community,” she said. “I would never want to jeopardize rental units for a few parking spaces.”

However, council received a pair of letters of opposition against the project. One of these came from a neighbour, who believes the area is too densely populated already, while the other was signed by multiple tenants of the Creekside Apartments.

In a later interview, tenants of the apartments said that despite assertions from the property owner, the parking lot is “well-used.” At this time, there are only four tenants in the 18-unit complex without vehicles. One tenant, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the parking lot is frequently used by people walking along the Kitsuksis Dyke or visiting the nearby playground.

“Some people here have two or more cars,” he said. “You want to knock out five [parking spaces] and bring in eight more people with eight more cars?”

As for public transit and street parking, tenants say this is not possible for everyone. A number of seniors with mobility issues live in the apartments.

“They can’t park in the street,” said one tenant.

“It depends what age you are,” added another. “The grocery store is a 10-minute walk away—if you’re a young person.”

The placement of the new unit will make the parking lot narrower, and tenants are worried that entrance and exit traffic will become congested.

Although parking is “the No. 1 issue,” tenants had a few other concerns related to maintenance of the building. The laundry room, for example, only has two washers and dryers that are “poorly maintained” and won’t be enough to accommodate eight more units.

“I’m not opposed to having more housing, but we want this place to get fixed up first,” said one tenant.

“We all have to share this space,” said another tenant. “We don’t want to live like sardines.”

According to council, concerns outside of the parking lot can be addressed during the development planning stage for the project.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

PlanningPort Alberni

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(NEWS FILE PHOTO)
ACRD, City of Port Alberni receive $4 million for COVID-19

Municipalities have until end of 2021 to allocate funding

The site of the former Arrowview Hotel, on Second Avenue and Athol Street, as of Jan. 14, 2020. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni pressures Arrowview Hotel owner for final cleanup

Demolition finished in June 2020 but site still full of construction material

West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni received some good news about an expansion to its emergency department on Jan. 15, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

A Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation guardian took this photo of dozens of vehicles parked along a forest service road in the Kennedy watershed. (Submitted photo)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District looks at enforcement of illegal camping

ACRD currently does not have an existing bylaw service to tackle the issue

Randy Brown, owner of Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, has five trailers and a motorhome at the back of his property that he is renting to people who had been previously homeless. He wants to put 15 trailers on his property, hooked up to city sewer and water and BC Hydro. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Building owner digs in heels, refuses to remove illegal trailers from property

Port Alberni council gives owner two-week reprieve on remediation orders

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Most Read