City of Duncan says public will have opportunities to provide input into the Duncan Manor renewal project before any final decisions are made. (File photo)

City of Duncan says public will have opportunities to provide input into the Duncan Manor renewal project before any final decisions are made. (File photo)

Public will have say on Duncan Manor project, says City of Duncan

Development application expected later this month

The public will have opportunities to provide input into the controversial Duncan Manor’s renewal project before the City of Duncan considers giving it the green light to proceed.

In a press release, the city noted that a lot of questions are being asked regarding the not-for-profit Duncan Housing Society’s proposal to redevelop Duncan Manor, located at 280 First Street.

The release said that the city has yet to receive any development applications from the society for the proposed project, and that once the applications are submitted, which is expected later this month, they will go through the standard processes for consideration and will require various opportunities for public input to city council.

“Although the City of Duncan initiated the Duncan Housing Society many years ago, there are no longer any ties between the two organizations,” the release said.

“Information on the memorandum of understanding that the city entered with the Duncan Housing Society in January 2021, is available on the city’s website.”

RELATED STORY: DUNCAN MANOR LOOKS TO REBUILD AND MAKE BIG EXPANSION

The Duncan Manor, which is operated by the DHS, is a three story, 122-unit building that offers below-market independent housing for seniors and persons with disabilities.

But the facility is more than 50 years old and the aging plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, and other components of the building are showing wear and tear after decades of use, so the society is proposing replacing it with an entirely new, expanded facility at the site with approximately 300 units when completed.

The memorandum of understanding between the city and society would see a land swap for the portion of the nearby Lawn Bowling Club, currently owned by the society, for a portion of the city’s Centennial Park parking lot to make way for the construction of the new building on a portion of the parking lot. The current parking lot is proposed to be expanded northward to maintain the same number of parking spaces, while access to the park would be moved to Second Street. Some members of the community have raised objections to the possibility of losing a section of Centennial Park if the project proceeds as planned.

The press release from the city reaffirmed that the concept has not been approved by the city and, at this stage, city council has only approved the MOU as to the process for how the concept would proceed for public consideration.

The province committed to funding the project in June, but said the final dollar figure for it won’t be confirmed until the final design of the new facility is completed and the construction contract is finalized.

RELATED STORY: FUNDING COMES THROUGH FOR DUNCAN MANOR’S RENEWAL PROJECT

Cheryl Jones, chairwoman of the society, said in June that the project was still in the earliest stages, and the design team was going through the procurement process with the rezoning application for the site.

Jones said at the time that the next steps include receiving final approval for the project from BC Housing, acquiring development and building permits from the city, and then the construction and occupancy of the new facility.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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