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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Duncan City Council Meeting – 21 January 2019

Duncan City Council Meeting – 21 January 2019

Here are some notes on the City of Duncan Council meeting of 21 January 2019.

Here is the Agenda for the City of Duncan Council Meeting of Monday, 21 January 2019. Here are the MInutes of the Meeting as compiled by City of Duncan staff.

Here is the video of the meeting:

Here are our notes and comment about the meeting:

Agenda Item 5.1.  –  Kirsten Baillie, Development Manager Vancouver Island – BC Housing

That Council direct staff to include the potential development of an affordable housing project on City owned land in the upcoming strategic plan discussion.

Kirsten Baillie presentation to Duncan Council consisted of a PowerPoint presentation and Kirsten Baillie’s explanation of that PowerPoint presentation. Here is a link to the BC Housing – 21 January 2019 Presentation to Duncan Council. [note: PDF] The presentation lasted from 1803-1820.

Here are some definitions from the BC Housing – 21 January 2019 Presentation to Duncan Council. [note: PDF]

  • “Housing continuum” see slide: The Housing Spectrum, page 2 of PowerPoint
  • “Housing Hub” – BC Housing working with developers and municipalities to help them gain access to low cost financing to build market rental housing.
  • PRHC – Provincial Rental Housing Corporation: it’s a branch of BC Housing

Key points:

  • The BC provincial Budget provides $7 billion to be spent on building housing over the next ten years under the Community Housing Program;
  • Community Housing Program funds not available until 2020 but BC Housing is encouraging municipalities to start planning now for Community Housing Program funding which will be available starting in 2020.
  • At this stage, BC Housing is not looking at specific site selection. Instead, it is encouraging municipalities to develop plans now so they can apply for Community Housing Program funding which will be available starting in 2020. [See “Role of the Municipality” page 7 in the PowerPoint.]

This motion calls for the City of Duncan to look at development proposals on land owned by the City of Duncan. For information purposes, here is a post on City of Duncan property potentially available for new housing which I put online during the election campaign in the fall of 2018.Councillor Bob Brooke asked whether Kirsten Baillie had CMHC Average Rents. She didn’t. There were no other questions. The Motion carried unanimously.

Agenda Item 5.2 – Amy Melmock, CVRD Economic Development Manager

Economic Development Cowichan January 2019 Update

This Economic Development Cowichan January 2019 Update has some interesting economic indicators and is worth reading over.

Some highlights of this presentation:

There were no questions from Council. This presentation took from 6:20 pm to 6:37 pm.

Item 6.1.  –   Report of the Chief Administrative Officer

Here is a link to the CAO Report for January 21, 2019.

The CAO report was not presented or discussed at the Council meeting because it is online.

Item 7.2  –  Correspondence from Our Cowichan Communities Health Network

Our Cowichan Communities Health Network requested Council appoint two Council members to act as non-voting liason to the Our Cowichan Communities Health Network.

Councillor Stacey Middlemiss had to leave the room because of a conflict of interest.

Councillor Carol Newington volunteered to act as liason. Councillor Jenni Capps as alternate. Motion carried. There was no discussion regarding the motion.

Our comments: Mayor Staples and some Council members have ties with, and/or are members of, community organizations which may be associated with Our Cowichan Communities Health Network.

Item 7.2 – Correspondence from Cowichan Community Action Team

The Cowichan Community Action Team requested one Council appoint one Council member and one alternate to serve as non-voting Liason to the Cowichan Community Action Team. 

Councillor Stacey Middlemiss had to leave the room because of a conflict of interest.

Mayor Staples wanted two Council members as liason to the Cowichan Community Action Team instead of the liason and one alternate requested.  Mayor Staples wanted herself and Council Jenni Copps in these positions.

The amended motion was passed with no discussion.

Our comments: The Cowichan Community Action Team is part of Our Cowichan Communities Health Network. Mayor Staples  and some Council members have ties with, and/or are members of, community organizations which may be associated with Our Cowichan Communities Health Network.

Item 8.1.1  – Yearly Ongoing Grants In Aid

That Council confirm the yearly ongoing grants in aid for inclusion in the 2019 financial plan:

This Motion was carried with no discussion.

Item 8.1.2.  –  Yearly Ongoing Grant in Aid – Chamber of Commerce

That Council direct staff to determine a business licence based funding formula using the number of business licences issued in Duncan and North Cowichan (south end) for the grant in aid for the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, for the Cowichan Visitor Information Centre, to be included in the 2019 financial plan (approximately $26,000);

And That Council direct staff to meet with North Cowichan staff and the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce to discuss the business licence based funding formula for the Cowichan Visitor Information Centre.

Councillor Tom Duncan noted there are approximately 5000 people in Duncan and 30,000 people in the Municipality of North Cowichan, yet the City of Duncan is paying the same amount (approximately $26,000/year) as the Municipality of North Cowichan is paying to subsidize the Chamber of Commerce. Councillor Duncan said the City of Duncan is having a problem paying half the annual cost of the Chamber of Commerce and suggested the Chamber of Commerce look at alternate funding sources like hotel taxes.

The Motion carried with no further discussion.

Our Comments: we agree with Councillor Duncan that this Ongoing Grant In Aid needs to be reviewed. But we don’t think hotel taxes are a good alternative option. We will be watching for future developments on this.

Items 8.1.3 to 8.1.13  –  Grants In Aid

Council approved the following Grants In Aid:

Council rejected the following Grants In Aid:

Our Comments: At this time we cannot provide any commentary on the reasons some requests were accepted while others were denied.

Item 9.1   – Controlled Substances Property Bylaw

That Council direct staff to draft a Controlled Substances Property Bylaw to  prohibit the use of land and buildings for the production, storage, trade, or barter of controlled substances.

This Motion passed unanimously.

Our Comments: We strongly support a Controlled Substances Property Bylaw for the City of Duncan. It was part of Mark Anderson’s election platform in last fall’s Municipal election campaign.

Here are posts on DuncanTaxpayers.ca from last fall’s election campaign on the need for a Controlled Substances Property Bylaw:

 

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