Harold Bierman thinks North Cowichan needs to provide more information to the public on the affordable housing project planned for Sherman Road.
Bierman lives on Gilana Place, which is adjacent to both the Sherman Road playing fields and the site of the affordable-housing project, and he said many of his neighbours have no idea that a large portion of Gilana Place’s sidewalk area has been committed to the creation of 75 parking stalls to accommodate the project.
He said the neighbourhood already has traffic and parking issues and he fears they will become a lot worse once the project is completed.
But his biggest concern for now is that few people in the neighbourhood realize what is planned.
“People are buying homes around here, but they have no idea what’s happening,” he said.
“The municipality does have a sign up on Sherman Road about the project, but there’s nothing on Gilana Place. People who are new here have no clue what’s going on.”
The municipality’s plans are for the construction of 44 townhouses and 51 apartment units at 3191 Sherman Rd.
Many who spoke at North Cowichan’s public hearing on the project, held last year, also raised concerns around parking and traffic issues in the area.
A statement from North Cowichan acknowledged that many municipalities require site signage when there is an active application on a site.
But, in this case, North Cowichan’s property at 3191 Sherman Rd. was already rezoned in 2017 to support an attainable housing project.
The municipality has a webpage on the plans for the property that can be found at www.northcowichan.ca/affordablehousing.
“The Municipality advertised this rezoning process extensively, held a neighbourhood consultation meeting in addition to the required public hearing, and ran a PlaceSpeak consultation, to ensure that people living near to the site had opportunities to be informed and provide input,” the statement said.
“While there is no requirement for site signage at this point, the municipality wants to promote its proposed housing project and has recently installed a sign at 3191 Sherman Rd. describing future plans.”
In addition, the statement said North Cowichan always encourages prospective home-buyers to go to municipal hall and inquire about a property’s status and plans in place for the neighbourhood so that they can make informed decisions before buying a home.