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City gives Onni more time to finesse bid

City council has shelved Onni’s Steveston rezoning proposal until next month to allow the developer more time to consider the latest ideas from city hall.

Coun. Bill McNulty, chair of council’s planning committee, said Monday’s decision to delay the file another two weeks will give the developer behind Imperial Landing’s new Bayview Street buildings more time to react to requests made by councillors April 8. It will also free up next week’s full agenda where an expansion of Lingyen Mountain Temple on No. 5 Road is expected to be considered.

McNulty remains hopeful a public library will be a part of Onni’s plans—a library bigger than the small space now inside the Steveston Community Centre.

“I was looking at it as something that is a very positive improvement of what we have to service the people and the growing population of Steveston,” he said.

McNulty added it’s a rare opportunity for the city to expand the Steveston branch by leasing space from Onni—hopefully, he said, at a reduced rate.

“We’d all be dead by the time (chief librarian) Greg Buss gets a library in Steveston. It’s true. We’re not going to build a library—we don’t have the money for the next 10 years.”

The rezoning proposal, which would open up a restrictive maritime mixed use zoning on the empty ground floors of the six new Bayview Street buildings, is now slated for the May 6 agenda of council’s planning committee.

Other topics Onni and city staff have been asked to consider include a marina and the Steveston Merchants’ Association proposal of reserving half the space for office use, and splitting the rest between maritime and general commercial uses.

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