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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Would you like to leave a comment or question about anything on this post?
“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
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
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.
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.