The idea of developing a small shopping centre in Maple Bay is long past due.
We’re only surprised it has taken this long.
We are convinced this can be a really positive development for the area.
Maple Bay has been a sought-after area for house hunters for years.
The one thing it has been lacking is even the small convenience of a convenience store.
There has been nowhere in the neighbourhood to go get a carton of milk or that tin of soup you need for the recipe you’re making for supper.
The closest shopping has been in Duncan, which is a significant drive for Maple Bay residents to make for, as North Cowichan Councillor Al Siebring stated, a can of Coke.
With the limited space available close to the waterfront, the development of any such amenities were never going to take place there. There is not enough land for the shops themselves and even if there were there is not enough parking.
Putting the new development within walking/biking distance of the residents of the Properties development is an excellent idea. It makes the whole thing convenient for a large swath of the Maple Bay population.
We are encouraged to hear that a lot of effort is going into the planning and architecture, so that the development is more than a series of boxes.
The developers seem to be going the extra mile to give the commercial project character.
We think this is one endeavour that the public should back full-force.
In general it is a mistake to build ever-sprawling suburbs out from a central community’s commercial core without providing at least basic amenities — things like a small grocery or coffee shop or pharmacy.
If these things are not taken into account within development plans what ends up happening is that you have a bunch of extremely car-dependent residential areas. This creates clogged roads and unnecessary vehicle emissions.
A small commercial core can also encourage a more cohesive neighbourhood feel, because residents see and talk to one another there. This development’s time has come.