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.
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.
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:
- Health Conditions On Lewis Street At Warmland Centre A Danger To The Community – Cowichan Valley Citizen 17 March 2020
- Warmland Shelter In North Cowichan causes Unsafe Neighbourhood – Cowichan Valley Citizen 17 June 2020
- Guns And Ammo Seized At Housing Facility On Blanshard – Times-Colonist 3 July 2020
- About 300 Supportive Housing Units Coming To Nanaimo – Times-Colonist 13 July 2020
- Businesses In Hotels Bought By Province [As Shelters] Say They’re Suffering – Times-Colonist 14 July 2020
- Security Worries In Gorge-Burnside As Thefts And Vandalism Spike – Times-Colonist 15 July 2020
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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