Council will discuss the proposal at its regular meeting on Monday, with a staff recommendation to send it to public hearing on Feb. 24.
The applicant (Gitish Bhalla) wants to construct a mixed-use building with a 60-seat Dairy Queen on the bottom floor and four (two-bedroom) units on the top floor at 6422 Main Street (the vacant lot across from the Oliver Legion).
In his report, Director of Development Services Randy Houle said a “drive-thru food service” is not permitted within the Town Centre zone, therefore, a site-specific zoning change is required.
He indicated the drive-thru entry and exit will be from Veteran’s Avenue and hidden from view of Main Street. This “allows the building to be designed in a way that is consistent with the downtown zone.” (An eating and drinking establishment is already a permitted use in the zone.)
Houle said the existing Main Street access will be closed and replaced with a boulevard tree and landscaping. He added that the drive-thru will be screened from the west to help reduce the negative impacts associated with idling cars.
Wesley E. Wollin, architect for the project, said the application is the first step in unlocking potential for this stale, underdeveloped property. If developed under this proposal, it will be a “refreshed gateway” into Oliver that will provide commercial vitality and housing options.
Wollin acknowledged that with any re-development there is a possibility that residents may feel the change will negatively impact their quality of life or property values.
But he said these are mitigated by the fact that parking and drive-thru access will be from Veteran’s Avenue.
“The traffic volume at the shared lane (in the vicinity) will not be significantly increased,” he said in his report.
Wollin noted that a development permit process will demonstrate more precisely how the proposal fits into the Official Community Plan.