Artist Cim MacDonald’s rendering of the project at 9833 Willow St. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Meeting Saturday for proposed Chemainus apartment project

Site would include seven one-bedroom units

A public information meeting is being held Saturday, Dec. 1 at 9833 Willow St. in Chemainus to review a proposed redevelopment of the site into a multi-family building with seven one-bedroom units.

The meeting takes place from 1-3 p.m. and the project is headed by former North Cowichan mayor Jon Lefebure and his wife Marlene Hayes, owners of Lefco Developments Ltd.

There is currently an older house on the property and the lot is zoned R3. The lot is approximately 7,600 square feet in area and the frontage is 104 feet.

“We would like to remove the old house and replace it with a new two-storey multi-family rental building, of about 2,880 square feet on each floor,” noted Hayes in a letter distributed to neighbouring residents in the summer.

Hayes added the main floor would face west and contain four one-bedroom units of about 700 square feet each. Each would have a separate entry and porch off Willow Street and the building would look like a one-storey structure from the street, as in the attached artist’s rendering.

The lower floor with three one-bedroom units of the same size would have a separate entry and lawn access off Laurel Street.

There has already been considerable debate in the community about the density of the project and the fact it won’t meet the needs of families with only one bedroom in each unit.

“We believe from our 27 years of experience as landlords in Chemainus that there is a strong demand for this kind of housing, and that we can create very affordable housing,” countered Hayes.

“We are proposing to use ductless heat pumps and high insulation values to reduce the costs to the tenants.”

The building would also be wired for solar panels and charging stations, with storm drainage directed into a rain garden in the front yard as part of the landscaping plan.

The views of neighbours will be considered at the meeting. Lefebure will be there to answer questions and can also be contacted at 250-710-9677 or by email at jwlefe@shaw.ca.

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