Consultant Dave Khazaki explains some of the ideas the Lake Cowichan band is working on as it steps into a new future. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

VIDEO: Lake Cowichan residents hear about First Nation’s development plans

The North Shore Road reserve could see some interesting changes in near future

Representatives from Lake Cowichan First Nation told a large crowd at the Lake Cowichan town meeting Monday, Nov. 20 a little about their plans for the future development of their reserve land on North Shore Road.

It’s not common for First Nations to do this at such an early stage but the plans are so exciting and the opportunity so good that they wanted to take advantage of it, band administrator Aaron Hamilton said.

Consultant Dave Khazaki then explained that the first two projects will be the Tzubaasatz Cafe, which will have a glass front facing the water and lots of wood, and a Health and Wellness Centre right across the street: a full-featured clinic that could well attract the doctors the Lake area so badly needs.

The First Nation is also looking at a residential/commercial building, with retail “at grade” and market residential above it.

Another building could be constructed for independent living for seniors, with the possibility of assisted living spaces being added one day, Khazaki said.

The preliminary design for the cafe has been done and construction is set for 2019/2020, he said.

Hamilton said, “We haven’t decided which comes first: the health and wellness centre or the cafe, but there is already lots of interest in a health and wellness centre. We’re hoping to have the drawings for the health and wellness centre ready for next summer.”

With the Lake Cowichan First Nation now working under the new Land Code and able to make its own decisions about its land, the band stands at the start of a “whole new era,” he said.

He then went on to talk about plans for a walkway along North Shore Road and a marina.

“We’re doing a feasibility study on a marina. We’re trying to find solutions that work for everybody,” he said. “Every week is a new dynamic. It’s exciting. We want to create something for our kids to come home to so we don’t have to send them to Alberta.”

Questions from the crowd included: have they done a geotech survey about the steep slope on North Shore Road, would the buildings be constructed to support a possible snow load, and would sight lines be taken into consideration before any housing was built on the reserve?

Hamilton assured the crowd that they would be seeing a high level of care taken in construction, and practicality will also play a role.

“We’re not going to put a six-storey anything up if we can’t sell it, and we will take sight lines into consideration,” he said, adding, “just because we are exempt [from some regulations as a First Nation] doesn’t mean we will put a 15-story building up. We’re doing a study right now on what residential is needed or wanted by the area.”

At the conclusion of the talk, Mayor Ross Forrest thanked the First Nation, saying it was great for the Town of Lake Cowichan to have such a good working relationship with them.

“We’re really happy to see ideas for supplying health services and doctors,” he concluded.



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Burning season has arrived in the Cowichan Valley Regional District, but beware of bylaws

It’s officially burning season in the Cowichan Valley Regional District, as residents… Continue reading

Francophone parents hoping to set up a French school in the Valley

Their children have a right to be educated in French, these parents say

Voter’s Guide for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

Check out our voter’s guide for tomorrow’s federal election: Image across page,… Continue reading

VIDEO: Climate change, veterans, tax cuts: it was all there at Lake Cowichan all-candidates debate

All six candidates faced off in the final Cowichan Valley debate of this federal election season

Cowichan T-Birds finish 5th at Bridgman Cup

Cow High contends at Victoria’s prestigious field hockey tournament

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Most Read