Duncan Council Rejects Centennial Park Land Swap Proposal By Duncan Housing Society

There were two important items on the Agenda of the 13 December 2021 meeting of Duncan Council.

One was the matter of the application for a Temporary Use Permit to allow temporary cabins on the lot BC Housing has purchased at 610 Trunk Road. Duncan Council approved this Temporary Use Permit.

The second significant item on the 13 December 2021 Agenda

Here is the Agenda Item:

“5.2. Duncan Manor – Consideration of Land Swap

– Call for Statement of Conflict – Council

– Staff Report

– Applicant Presentation – Duncan Housing Society

– Public Comments (maximum 3 minutes per person)

Staff Recommendation:

That Council direct staff to finalize the land exchange agreement with the Duncan Housing Society for Council consideration, substantially as described in the December 13, 2021 report of the Chief Administrative Officer.”

Here is a photo of the land which the Duncan Housing Society proposed to obtain through a land swap with the City of Duncan in order that the Duncan Housing Society could erect a six storey building on what is now parkland in Centennial Park.

The land in Centennial Park that Duncan Manor (building on right) proposed to exchange with the City of Duncan so Duncan Manor could build a six storey building on this site. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
The land in Centennial Park that Duncan Manor (building on right) proposed to exchange with the City of Duncan so Duncan Manor could build a six storey building on this site. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)

Here is the video of the 13 December 2021 meeting of Duncan Council. Discussion of Agenda Item 5.2 and public input starts at 2:52:38 of the video and concludes at 4:15:23. The Duncan Council vote on this matter starts at 4:15:23.

I note that Councillor Tom Duncan was the only member of Council who expressed support for the proposed land swap in Centennial Park. I also note that he did not vote when the matter came to a vote by Council.

All members of Duncan Council who voted cast their vote against this proposed land swap. In my view this was the correct course of action.

Here is a map showing the location of Duncan Manor and Centennial Park:

Duncan Council Approves Temporary Use Permit For 610 Trunk Road

There were two important items on the Agenda of the 13 December 2021 meeting of Duncan Council.

One was the matter of the application for a Temporary Use Permit to allow temporary cabins on the lot BC Housing has purchased at 610 Trunk Road.

Here is the Agenda Item:

“5.1. Temporary Use Permit – 610 Trunk Road

– Call for Statement of Conflict – Council

– Staff Report

– Applicant Presentation- Shelly Cook, Executive Director, Cowichan Housing Association

– Public Comments (maximum 3 minutes per person)

Staff recommendation:

That Council issue Temporary Use Permit No. TUP-2021-01 for 610 Trunk Road;

And That Council waive the tree replacement requirement and associated fees, as established by Tree Protection Bylaw No. 3135, 2014, for TUP-2021-01, provided that the property owner includes the required replacement trees on the landscaping plan or pays the required tree replacement fees as a part of any future, non-temporary, development on the subject property.”

Here are some photos of the lot at 610 Trunk Road as it appeared in November 2021:

The lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
The lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
The lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
The lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)

Despite receiving a petition with over 600 signatories from the surrounding neighbourhood opposing the Temporary Use Permit, Duncan Council voted in favour of granting the Temporary Use Permit. Councillor Gary Bruce was the only member of Duncan Council who voted against the Temporary Use Permit.

Here is the video of the Council Meeting of 13 December 2021. Discussion of this Temporary Use Permit and public input on the matter starts at the 3:00 point of the video and concludes at 2:13:06 of the video.

Duncan Council voting on the Temporary Use Permit starts at 2:13:06 of the video and concludes at 2:40:33 with the final vote taking place at 2:40:19.

 

 
Here is a map showing the location of 610 Trunk Road:

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Recommended Book: San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities by Michael Schellenberger

I recently read the book San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities, by Michael Schellenberger and I recommend it without hesitation.

It is an excellent book and it is very relevant to what is currently happening in Duncan.

Recommended book. San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities by Michael Schellenberger
Recommended book. San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities by Michael Schellenberger

This book is currently in stock at Volume One Books in downtown Duncan.

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BC Housing Has Purchased 610 Trunk Road And A Temporary Cabin Site Is Proposed For The Property

BC Housing has purchased the .975 acre lot at 610 Trunk Road and a temporary cabin site is proposed for this location. Here is a link to a Cowichan Valley Citizen report published on 23 November 2021.

According to the Cowichan Valley Citizen, “Another 40 sleeping cabins for the homeless are proposed to be placed at a temporary site at 610 Trunk St. (sic) in the new year.

The Cowichan Housing Association, on behalf of the Cowichan COVID-19 Task Force for Vulnerable Population, has applied to the City of Duncan for a temporary-use permit for the site, which is owned by BC Housing, to provide a 24-hour housing and support service for up to 40 people in the small cabins from Jan. 15, 2022 to Sept. 30, 2022.

The proposed project, which would be called “It Takes a Village: Housing the Unsheltered Population of the Cowichan Valley”, would be operated by Lookout Housing and Health Society, which also runs the newly opened Health and Wellness Centre on York Road…..

Funding for the new temporary housing project comes from a $2.5-million grant from the Safe Restart: Strengthening Communities’ Services funding program, a joint federal/provincial initiative.

Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples said the city is thankful that North Cowichan submitted the proposal for funding on behalf of the region and that the application was successful.

She said the next step is securing a suitable location for the village….”

Here are some photos of the site at 610 Trunk Road:

The lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
The lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
The lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
The lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Realtor's sale sign for the lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Realtor’s sale sign for the lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Activity on the lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Activity on the lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan, BC, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)

We note that the lot at 610 Trunk Road is in a residential district and is directly across the street from Sunridge Place, a seniors facility at 361 Bundock Avenue, and several apartment buildings which cater to seniors. It is also directly next door to 554 Trunk Road, which is the offices of the Cowichan Valley Youth Services Society.

554 Trunk Road, which houses the Cowichan Youth Services Association, is adjacent to the lot at 610 Trunk Road, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
554 Trunk Road, which houses the Cowichan Valley Youth Services Society, is adjacent to the lot at 610 Trunk Road, 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
The lot at 610 Trunk Road (left) and 554 Trunk Road, which houses the Cowichan Youth Services Association (right), 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
The lot at 610 Trunk Road (left) and 554 Trunk Road, which houses the Cowichan Valley Youth Services Society (right), 26 November 2021 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)

Here is a map showing the location of 610 Trunk Road:

 

 

Here is a Google Street View image of 610 Trunk Road:

We will post more in future as this situation unfolds.

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Mayor Al Siebring Comments On VIHA’s Decision To Put The New Overdose Prevention Site At 5878 York Road

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has decided to place a new Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) at 5878 York Road, across the street from the Warmland House Shelter.

This decision has created a lot of public opposition because 5878 York Road is within two blocks of two schools: the Quamichan Campus of Cowichan Secondary and the Alexander Elementary School. The Cowichan Valley School Board passed a motion opposing this VIHA decision. Here are media reports from the CBC and the Cowichan Valley Citizen about this public opposition.

5878 York Road, North Cowichan, BC in September 2020 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
5878 York Road, North Cowichan, BC in September 2020 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)

Here is a map showing the location of 5878 York Road in relation to the two schools on Beverley Street:

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring posted a lengthy comment on Facebook about VIHA’s decision to place an Overdose Prevention Site within two blocks of two schools. We have reproduced Mayor Siebrings‘s Facebook post below:

“Hi everyone. First of all.. apologies for the length of this post. It was precipitated by some questions asked by Don T Hatton and Erin O’keefe-Whiteford in one of the strings on this site. (There’s so much stuff that I can’t find those original posts back right now, so I’m just putting this up here as a stand-alone post.)

I’ll start with the central question Don T Hatton asked: “Under what or who’s authority was (Dr.) Shannon (Waters) looking for property?” The answer is that Dr. Waters was operating under a direct order from the top boss in her ministry… (then) Health Minister Terry Lake, in Ministerial Order M-488. The order reads in part, that the minister “order(s)… regional health boards to provide, on the advice of the provincial health officer… overdose prevention services for the purpose of monitoring persons who are at risk of overdose, and providing rapid intervention as and when necessary, as ancillary health services, in any place there is a need for these services…”

And language is important here. This is an ORDER. It’s not a “suggestion.” It’s like when your boss “orders” you to do something. You have two choices. Follow the order or quit your job. (You can see the full order here https://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/mo/hmo/2016_m488)

Don T Hatton goes on to ask: “Was there a committee she reported to or was this a Shannon Waters personally motivated project?” The answer is absolutely not. To the degree that she was involved in discussions around this project, it was the result of a direct order from her top boss, the Minister of Health, per M488 above. “What are Shannon Waters Qualification to determine a location does she have urban planning credentials?” Again, that’s not really germane to the discussion. To be clear, it wasn’t Dr. Waters who personally “chose” the location. She is the Medical Health Officer for our region, but Island Health/VIHA has a whole raft of bureaucrats who are responsible for siting various installations within the Health Authority’s boundaries. I can only assume that some of those folks have some urban planning experience, but even if they did, the “order” overrides any urban planning criteria. And for clarity, it appears this “site selection group” is headed up by James Hanson, who’s the Vice President of Clinical Operations for Central/North Vancouver Island (which is all of the Island except for the Greater Victoria area.)

Don T Hatton also asks: “If she (Waters) was reporting to a committee why at the very least was no one in the community who would be impacted by the location invited to participate on the committee?” That’s a question you’ll have to ask Island Health. I don’t believe there was a “committee” in the sense of a local group that Island Health “consulted” with before determining the location. Whether we like it or not, (and for the record, I don’t like it at all), M488 basically makes Island Health a law unto themselves. They are not mandated to consult with anyone.

Don T Hatton then goes on to ask: “Why did it take the pressure of A Voice for Children to finally motivate the school board and the City/ Municipality to send a letter objecting to the location? Does their failure to speak up mean they were supportive of the location of this facility prior to the group pressing them? I would guess the city, the municipality, and the school district were all aware this was coming.”

I first became aware of the decision to site this centre on York Road in late March. At that time, I approached the landlord, and asked him not to sign the lease. Our staff, when we heard that this location was “on the radar”, offered Island Health a list of local residents and businesses, and strongly suggested they consult with those folks before finalizing the lease. They chose not to do that, and made their announcement of a site selection on April 3rd.
I responded on that day, expressing strong concerns about the location choice. You can see my initial reaction at https://bit.ly/2Ddzssm.. again, that was posted on the day that Island Health announced its site selection.

So no, I was not supportive of the location.

But equally, I was very surprised at the (initial) lack of reaction from the community. I tried to alert folks this was coming. There was a formal announcement from Island Health. And the announcement was covered in the Cowichan Valley Citizen (shorturl.at/oCDR2).

With that information out in the public domain, I sat back and waited to see what the community response would be. The fact is that for four months, there was very little of that response. Without putting too fine a point on this, I would simply ask Mr. Hatton – in response to his question – “Why did it take the community four months – from early April until early August – to finally get worked up about this?”

But when it became apparent that there was considerable community opposition to this, I took the first opportunity I had – a Council meeting on August 19th – to ask Council for authorization to write a letter to Island Health, objecting to the lack of community consultation. That letter was sent the following week. (shorturl.at/zGLP1)

I want to expand on a couple of things about that letter I sent. First of all, the motion that Council passed was clear that the letter should express our concerns about the lack of public consultation about the site, and ask Island Health to pause their planning until that consultation was completed. But the letter also included the line “The location that was ultimately chosen is inappropriate and will surely have negative impacts on the surrounding businesses and residents.” One of my councillors has objected to the fact that I even included that line, because it went beyond what was authorized in the motion. The argument is that Council did not conclude that the site was “inappropriate.” Which, technically, is correct.

The letter also references discussions at the Leadership Group about this issue, when I wrote that “There was broad agreement… including at the Cowichan Leadership Group (of which Dr. Waters is a part), that (the “clustering” of these kinds of services) was absolutely not a desired outcome.” That line from the letter came up at a Leadership Group meeting last week, where I was criticized for referencing that “agreement” when no formal motion to that effect had been assented to. In fact, some in the Leadership Group insist that they don’t even remember there being any “agreement” on this at all, although both SD79 Board Chair Candace Spilsbury and I clearly recall this discussion.

All of which to say, the objections to that letter illustrate the political minefield that this file has created.

Don T Hatton asks one other question. “Why is it that every project carried out by VIHA and others connected to homeless and addiction issues are done under a veil of silence?” That’s a bit pejorative, but I understand the thinking behind it. The reality is that Island Health – indeed any agency of the Provincial Government – is not bound to be open or transparent about these things. There’s an obscure section of the BC “Interpretation Act” (Section 14(2)) which essentially says that those agencies are completely exempt from local land use and zoning regulations in terms of siting provincially-run buildings and installations. That covers everything from sites like the one on York Road to the Site C Hydro installation up north. Simply put, the province can put whatever it wants wherever it wants.

And that’s kind of central to this entire discussion. I know some people have accused me of being patronizing when I have said this in the past, but the reality is that if the local politicians (myself, Mayor Michelle Staples, or anyone else), had set our hair on fire and drawn a line in the sand in our opposition to this location, we would have lost. Period. Full stop. We would have set ourselves up for failure, and in the process of doing that, we would have created false and unattainable expectations in community.

Now to Erin O’keefe-Whiteford‘s questions: “When was the local governments/council and school board made aware that this facility was being placed here?” As I wrote above, I first became aware of this in late March. I spoke to the landlord, and our staff urged Island Health at that time to engage in some community conversations. The second question Erin asks is a bit puzzling to me. “And why at that time was a community consultation not announced by our locally elected officials? And please don’t blame VIHA.” Clearly, it was not our role to be “announcing community consultation.” What could we possible hope to achieve with “community consultation” that would be sponsored by local government, when – per s.14(2) of the Interpretation Act – we had no legal standing to have any input on this at all? Again, this would have set up community expectations. Perhaps people would have felt “heard”, yes, but it would have been dishonest for us to ask the community what they thought, when we knew upfront that this input would mean absolutely nothing to the process.

Erin O’keefe-Whiteford, you write, “Please don’t blame VIHA”. I’m not, but at the same time, we have to work within the legislative boundaries that are proscribed for us. You also wrote that we are “way past the blame game.” I totally agree. This isn’t about “blaming” anyone. It’s about the process.

One other observation about Erin’s comment, where she writes… “I have NO reason to believe that VIHA gives two hoots about this community. And I’m well aware that they have No transparency about anything that they do. So I didn’t and don’t expect any help from them.” Sadly, I agree with you. I’ve been saying this for the past 14 years or so to anyone who will listen, ever since the debacle around the Cowichan Lodge, which was when VIHA lost all credibility in this community. And it has never recovered from that. I have observed a culture there that is anathema to community consultation and inclusion.

In fact, I raised that very issue with Dr. Waters a few weeks ago in a slightly different context. VIHA had been intimating for weeks that they were on the verge of choosing the operator for the Wellness and Recovery Centre. But they couldn’t tell us who that operator would be because they were awaiting all the final details and signoff on the actual contract. (I believe there’s a formal announcement coming today that the contract will be with Lookout Services, the same organization that will be managing our Drinkwater Road Supportive Housing site.) But I compare VIHA’s approach on that messaging to that of BC Housing, who openly announced their intention to sign on with Lookout for the Drinkwater site more than a month before the formal contract was signed. And Lookout was present at our Council meeting in July to talk about their plans for community engagement on the Drinkwater site in the context of how they generally operate. Again, that appearance before our Council was weeks before the contract was signed, but it shows a completely different approach to – and respect for – the community.

I want to conclude with a brief comment on the letter I received back from Mr. Hanson yesterday. (I note that [ ] had already posted a copy of that letter elsewhere in this group, but I’ll link to it again for ease of reference You can find it at shorturl.at/ahnuO)

I recognize that there is a lot of anger about this letter. But honestly, it’s pretty much what I expected. Given all of what I wrote above, (and I’ve been saying this for months), I honestly don’t think Island Health will “change its mind” about this location. Whether we like it or not (and I don’t), the law is on their side when it comes to this siting.

So I would urge everyone to double down and work within the paradigm that we are presented with. There’s a couple of encouraging things in Mr. Hanson’s letter, including the commitment to “engagement on the service model”. It’s not completely clear to me how fulsome this “engagement” will be, but it’s at least an opportunity to talk to them about the interface between the community and the “services” that will be provided at the centre. Mr. Hanson also writes that they want to “(work) with the new service provider, local governments and neighbours to ensure a service model that both mitigates community impact while ensuring safe, accessible and critical health care services.”

And as part of this, there’s a plan to set up a “Community Advisory Committee”. To me, this infers a process wherein the real, on-the-ground concerns about street disorder can be addressed. For example, there is already a strong push for VIHA to pay for security around the site.. not just while it’s open, but on a 24/7 basis.

These are the kinds of questions where a Committee like this could apply appropriate pressure to address the concerns as they crop up.

I’ll leave it at that for now. You should also know that I’ll be leaving town for a few weeks of grandkid time this weekend, and won’t be back until Sept 28th, so my engagement on this will be limited for the next few weeks. (I’m actually going to try to limit my screen time for the first time since the start of COVID in March.)

Thank you for reading all the way to the bottom. I don’t expect my answers above to satisfy everyone (anyone?) but they’re my honest assessment of where we are on this file. Please take them for what they’re worth.”

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The Contract To Operate The New Overdose Prevention Site Has Been Given To The Lookout Housing + Health Society

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has given to contract to operate the proposed new Overdose Prevention Site at 5878 York Road, North Cowichan, to the Lookout Housing + Health Society, which is based in Vancouver.

5878 York Road, North Cowichan, BC in September 2020 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
5878 York Road, North Cowichan, BC in September 2020 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
5878 York Road, North Cowichan, BC in September 2020 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
5878 York Road, North Cowichan, BC in September 2020 (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)

Here are some links to more information about the Lookout Housing + Health Society:

Like many non-profit organizations the is divided into two separate legal entities: the Lookout Housing + Health Society and the Lookout Housing + Helath Foundation. We will try to find more information on the legal and financial relationships between these two entities.

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Potential Conflict Of Interest – Duncan Council Meeting 15 June 2020

We believe the Mayor of Duncan, Michelle Staples, is in a potential conflict of interest regarding her actions in dealing with Agenda Item 7.8 of the City of Duncan Council Meeting of 15 June 2020. Agenda Item 7.8 of the City of Duncan Council Meeting is in regard to a Grant Application for a $10,000 Grant In Kind, made to the City of Duncan by the Cowchan Green Community Society on 8 June 2020. [Note: PDF]

Continue reading Potential Conflict Of Interest – Duncan Council Meeting 15 June 2020

Scale Of Proposed Supportive Housing Development At 260 White Road

BC Housing is proposing to build a new supportive housing development of “up to 50 units” on a currently vacant .427 acre lot at 260 White Road, off Jubilee Street in Duncan.

To give some idea of the scale of this proposed development, here is an article about a newly opened 21 unit supportive housing development called Spaken House on the former Blanshard School playground at 833 Hillside Avenue in Victoria.

Here is a photo of part of the new 21 unit Spaken House development at 833 Hillside Avenue in Victoria.

Province of BC photo of new 21 unit supportive housing building, Spaken House, at 833 Hillside Avenue in Victoria.
Province of BC photo of new 21 unit supportive housing building, Spaken House, at 833 Hillside Avenue in Victoria.

Continue reading Scale Of Proposed Supportive Housing Development At 260 White Road

Proposed New BC Housing Development At 260 White Road – Up To 50 Supportive Housing Units

The City of Duncan Council Meeting on 20 July 2020 will receive a BC Housing presentation regarding a proposed “White Road Supportive Housing Development” in which BC Housing proposes to built “up to 50 new, permanent, purpose built supportive housing units” on a currently vacant .427 acre lot at 260 White Road in Duncan. Here is link to a 18 June 2020 article in the Cowichan Valley Citizen about this proposed development. So far this is the only local media coverage I have seen of this proposal.

Here is a map showing location of 260 White Road in Duncan:

Here is a Google Street View image of the entrance to the currently vacant lot at 260 White Road. Note that is is the only street access for a proposed building with 50 units on a .427 acre lot.

Here is a link to the Agenda for the City of Duncan Council Meeting on 20 July 2020.

Under Agenda Item 6. Delegations, Item 6.1 is “Roberta Randall, Manager, Community & Tenant Affairs, and Heidi Hartman, Director of Operations, Vancouver Island Region, BC Housing – White Road Supportive Housing Development Community Engagement”. Roberta Randall and Heidi Hartman will be making a presentation to Duncan Council in support of this new development at 260 White Road.

Here is a link to their Presentation.

If this proposed development goes ahead it will have a major impact on this neighbourhood and will create several significant issues.

The first issue is Access to White Road.

White Road is a narrow dead end street which in only one block in length. Its only access point is at the intersection of White Road and Jubilee Street. The .427 acre lot at 260 White Road has no access on Lukaitis Lane to the south. Short of purchasing or expropriating existing adjacent properties on Lukaitis Lane to the south there is no possibility of increasing access to White Road.

The intersection of White Road and Jubilee Street in Duncan, BC. This is the only vehicle and pedestrian access to White Road.
The intersection of White Road and Jubilee Street in Duncan, BC. This is the only vehicle and pedestrian access to White Road.

This proposed facility will require parking for staff. There is no little space for parking on White Road and there would likely be little space for parking on a .427 acre lot with 50 units of supported housing.

A 50 unit supportive housing project under 24 supervision and providing meals and laundry service for residents will  significant deliveries of food and supplies. These deliveries would presumably have to be made by truck. There is currently no space on White Road for trucks to turn around. There would likely have to be space made available on the .427 acre lot at 260 White Road for a truck turn around. This would presumably mean less space for low level housing, which would mean a higher building to accommodate up to 50 units of housing.

That leads to the second issue, which is Density.

White Road and the neighbourhood around White Road are comprised primarily of low rise, detached, single family residential properties.

A proposed development of “up to 50 new, permanent, purpose built supportive housing units” on a .427 acre lot will undoubtedly require a multi level building which will be much higher than the surrounding properties. There are currently no other buildings in this neighbourhood with anything close to 50 units of housing.

We note there is no architects’ drawing of the proposed 50 unit building included in the the BC Housing Presentation to Duncan Council on 20 July 2020. The Presentation shows two other BC Housing buildings – one called Orca Place at 222 Corfield Street South in Parksville and one under construction at 2025 Agassiz Road in Kelowna – as examples of what this facility might look like but it does not provide any example of an actual building proposed for the site at 260 White Road.

Illustrations of both these buildings show facilities which are of a density and height which are definitely on a far larger scale than we think is feasible foe the neighbourhood around 260 White Road.

As an example, here is a map showing the location of Orca Place at 222 Corfield Street South in Parksville. Note the area has far more open space than does the neighbourhood around 260 White Road. Compare the map below with the map of 260 White Road above.

Here is a Google Street View image of the lot at 222 Corfield Street South in Parksville prior to construction of the BC Housing Supportive Housing facility at Orca Place. Note that this lot is far wider and far larger than the lot at 260 White Road. It is also in an area with far fewer existing houses than the area around 260 White Road.

Here is a map showing the location of 2025 Agassiz Road in Kelowna.  Note the area has far more open space than does the neighbourhood around 260 White Road. Compare the map below with the map of 260 White Road above.

Here is a Google Street View image of 2025 Agassiz Road in Kelowna.  Note that it is in an area of predominantly high rise buildings. That is not the case in the neighbourhood around 260 White Road.


The third issue is crime and anti-social behaviour.

Despite the reassurances of BC Housing, it can be easily demonstrated that these facilities bring crime and anti-social behaviour into neighbourhoods.

Here are links to some examples of news reports and Letters To The Editor about this issue around other BC Housing facilities on Vancouver Island:

As a local Cowichan Valley example of this, we will simply point to the situation along Lewis Street and York Road around the Warmlands Shelter. We suggest Duncan residents do not want a replication of Lewis Street in the area of 260 White Road.

We will adding more to this post later.

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Tent Site On Buller Street In Downtown Ladysmith

I happened to be in Ladysmith on 15 May 2020 when I came across a new Tent Site under construction on a vacant lot owned by the City of Ladysmith across from 11 Buller Street in downtown Ladysmith.

I noticed that Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples was present and apparently involved in the construction so I took some photographs of the site.

Here are some of the photos I took of the Buller Street Tent Site construction on 15 May 2020:

Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples (left) at construction of Tent Site on Buller Street in Ladysmith, 15 May 2020. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples (left) at construction of Tent Site on Buller Street in Ladysmith, 15 May 2020. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Construction of Tent Site on Buller Street in Ladysmith, 15 May 2020. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Construction of Tent Site on Buller Street in Ladysmith, 15 May 2020. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Construction of Tent Site on Buller Street in Ladysmith, 15 May 2020. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Construction of Tent Site on Buller Street in Ladysmith, 15 May 2020. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)

Here is a map showing the location of the Tent Site across from 11 Buller Street:

As I was taking these photos I was approached by Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone who wanted to know who I was and why I was taking photographs. Mayor Stone said that publishing photographs showing the faces of workers erecting the tent site would expose these workers to “aggressive actions” although he didn’t elaborate on who would initiate these “aggressive actions” or why these “aggressive actions”  would be undertaken.

I note that the Cowichan Valley Citizen has published photographs of North Cowichan Councillor Rosalie Sawrie at the Fuller Lake Arena Tent Site construction and no such concerns about “aggressive actions” have been expressed.

Here are some photos of the completed Tent Site on Buller Street in 19 May 2020:

Tent Site on Buller Street in Ladysmith, 19 May 2020. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Tent Site on Buller Street in Ladysmith, 19 May 2020. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Tent Site on Buller Street in Ladysmith, 19 May 2020. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)
Tent Site on Buller Street in Ladysmith, 19 May 2020. (photo: Duncan Taxpayers)

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