Editorial: Cowichan in a building boom

Editorial: Cowichan in a building boom

It’s different than it was before 2008, when mega-developments were proposed

So not only are homes for sale scarce and going fast in the Cowichan Valley, there’s a building boom as well.

It’s different than it was before 2008, when mega-developments were proposed for all of Youbou, Bamberton, Cliffs over Maple Bay and Paldi.

It’s telling that none of those projects have ever come to fruition.

Now, development is happening in what we think is a more sustainable manner, with a commercial building with condos on top going in here and a small townhouse or condo building going in over there. Occasionally, a new street, or few streets of homes are being cut into former bushland. These smaller scale projects are also usually more palatable to nearby residents, who aren’t faced with visions of massive changes to their neighbourhoods.

The infilling that’s been happening in and around Duncan has been great, increasing density and hopefully giving new life to the downtown core. More people living there can only help businesses, and we’d like to eventually see a vibrant evening life spring up. There are certainly any number of excellent restaurants there already.

One thing we’d definitely like to see go ahead is the building of affordable housing units. Our community desperately needs it. Good rentals are in short supply and high demand; we could use more of those, too.

The issue with booms can be that those on the bottom end of the price scale can get shoved right off the ladder. We must take care that doesn’t happen. Cowichan has always been a relatively affordable community where people making moderate incomes, and seniors on fixed incomes, can still live a comfortable life. We don’t want to see that change. So far our towns and villages have done a decent job of acquiring and retaining green space in our growing areas as well, a vital part of any desirable community.

Everyone in the building trades is working flat out, another boon for the local economy. All in all, the future looks bright.