Two large housing developments that include affordable housing units are being considered in North Cowichan.
Council gave the first two readings on Sept. 20 to a 195-unit complex that is being proposed for Green Road, located just south of Cowichan Commons.
The mixed-use development on the 5.2-hectare site is being proposed by Green Road Development Company.
If approved, the site would see the construction of 15 units of two-storey townhouses, nine units of single-storey townhouses, and 45 units within a four-storey condo building.
As well, the proposal includes 126 units in a five-storey building with a social centre, shared kitchen and professional offices on the main floor.
Correspondence from the developer said the goal of the development is to create an “Aging in Place” model in which housing and services such as meals, entertainment and medical services must all be affordable and in one location.
The proposed project comes on the heels of council giving third reading at its meeting on Sept. 6 to a proposal for a four-storey, 112-unit apartment building at 6472 Paddle Rd., located just north of Cowichan Commons.
Coun. Kate Marsh said she was “delighted and impressed” that Green Road Development Company has stepped forward with the proposal for Green Road.
“Thank you for wanting to make this investment in our community,” she said.
Mayor Jon Lefebure said it’s quite a complex project and he applauds the developer’s vision.
“It has the potential to be an incredible amenity in our community,” he said.
But a new subdivision on municipally-owned land in Chemainus where Chemainus Elementary School once stood that received final approval at the meeting received a cool reception from many who spoke to council.
North Cowichan took over ownership of the 1.53-hectare property in 2013 and preliminary plans call for the construction of 10 single-family or duplex lots on the site, and a multi-family lot that would allow up to 13 units.
The rest of the property is planned to be used for park space.
Concerns were raised during the application process about providing affordable housing options on the site, and some at the meeting raised additional concerns with the project.
Dave Campbell said he fears the new subdivision will see increased traffic in the neighbourhood and the proposed height of some of the buildings will impede his view.
Mona Tupper said she’s “shocked” at how few places there are in the community to go for a walk, and the site has been providing her a place to walk for some time.
“This property is a jewel that should be left the way it is,” she said.
“If I knew how little park space there was in Chemainus, I would have stayed in the city.”
Coun. Tom Walker said the municipality has developed a proposal that meets most of the concerns of the residents.
“We can’t please everyone and this is as good as it gets,” he said.