Editorial: Pluses outweigh minuses for new apartment complex

We need it too much not to allow it to go ahead.

This diagram shows where the proposed apartment building will go. (submitted)

This diagram shows where the proposed apartment building will go. (submitted)

We need it too much not to allow it to go ahead.

A new 112-unit apartment building has been all but given final approval from the Municipality of North Cowichan, the development having made its way through the process rather quietly for such a big project.

The development is slated for Paddle Road, and you can be forgiven if you don’t know where that is, as it’s far from a main thoroughfare. It is, however, in a developing area of the municipality, located across from Cowichan Commons mall on Drinkwater Road.

In recent memory all of the mall, a new Ford dealership, and the Tim Horton’s have gone in there, making it an increasingly busy corridor.

There’s been considerable investment in road infrastructure there too, but that has not extended to Paddle Road. This led some residents on the road to oppose the apartment development, as they are concerned the road won’t take the added traffic. And while North Cowichan councillors and staff acknowledge the road certainly isn’t ideal for development, we think they made the right choice to give it the go-ahead anyway.

Good rental stock is as scarce as hen’s teeth in the Duncan area. We desperately need places that people can call home that are in good condition. This is overall a good location to densify. Residents of the new building will be within walking or biking distance of many retail locations and services.

Which, of course, is a bit of a double-edged sword, since the sticking point is the condition of the road. More people out of their vehicles walking and biking is desirable, but the road itself may make sharing it with cars a bit tough, at least initially.

The developer has agreed to put some money into upgrading at least a portion of the road.

On the whole the pluses outweigh the minuses.