View Royal sends developer of Thetis-area property back to drawing board

View Royal council got its first formal look at a rezoning application for Thetis Lake Campground on Tuesday night and has asked staff to work with the proponent in an effort to get the parties on the same page.

The consensus from council was that the proposal, which called for mostly single-family houses and a couple of townhouses, needed some higher density development if rezoning was going to get municipal approval.

This back and forth is typical of rezoning applications in the Town, according to Mayor David Screech.

"I think there's a desire to see a little bit more clustered development and possibly a condominium building, as opposed to single-family homes on that property," he said.

Screech was pleased to see that approximately a third of the site would be kept as parkland, a necessary aspect of any development of the property, which straddles one of the region's most popular green spaces.

"We may be able to actually increase that if they cluster the development a little bit more. I'm certainly all for that," he said.

Three of the campground's residents spoke at the meeting.

The overlying message from the vocal group of residents continues to be that they'd like more than the $10,000 being offered by the current property owner to have their mobile homes removed by the end of September.

Seventeen modular homes occupy the site and due to their age, and the fact many have been added onto, they will likely have to be destroyed rather than moved.

Eric Gieringer, the owner of the campground, also spoke during the meeting and confirmed he will have the residents' homes removed from the property at no charge, a deal he had hinted at in his initial letter detailing his plans to sell the property to a developer.

Screech believes the offering, twice as much as is required by law, is fair, but he also said council may choose to negotiate a better price for the residents. He expects a revised rezoning application to reach the committee level in a month or two.

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