Back to drawing board for RV biz in Chilliwack

It was still no dice last week for an applicant trying to have the screening, paving and landscaping requirements waived for a proposed RV storage compound on Charles Street.

Council said no to an earlier application for a similar Development Variance Permit (DVP) last fall. It would have permitted open storage of recreational vehicles under the M2 zoning at 8989 Charles Street, but was turned down after a range of concerns were raised.

In the end the motion to approve the DVP was defeated on April 4, in a unanimous vote of council.

There seemed to be little appetite by council for approval the second time around, because some of the concerns were not seen to be addressed adequately from the first application.

In terms of the paving issue, the applicant proposed the use of Endura-Form, an inter-locking mat, to mitigate gravel transfer onto the public road, according the applicant’s rep at the hearing, Glenn Froese.

It was revealed the applicant, Antonio Rapaz, also sells and markets the Endura-Form product.

Froese later noted it was a “catch 22” situation for the applicant to be situated on a wedge-shaped property between an industrial area and a residential neighbourhood.

Mayor Sharon Gaetz and Coun. Ken Popove used the word “lukewarm” to describe their reaction to the applicant’s updated attempt to address previous concerns.

“It looks like applicant is trying to cheap out on infrastructure that would improve the neighbourhood,” noted Mayor Gaetz.

“I have to say I am a little disappointed that this has come back to us without landscaping,” said Coun. Sue Attrill, who added she was not comfortable with razor wire in a residential neighbourhood.

Mayor Gaetz acknowledged part of the area is industrial, in terms of justifying reduced front landscaping, “but it’s also beside residential homes.”

The mayor underlined that council views it as a “valuable” type of business, as it avoids the practice of RV storage on farm land, but there were still challenges.

Coun. Jason Lum tried to rally support for sending the application back to staff for “tweaking” but the motion to refer failed.

There were also concerns mentioned about the chain link fence topped with razor barbwire, and less than half the trees being proposed for retention.

Mayor Gaetz concluded if the application were to come back yet again, it would have to be “significantly improved” for council to support it.