Regional affordable housing tax an abomination

Affordable housing should happen in Duncan and North Cowichan urban growth areas only

Regional affordable housing tax an abomination

The regional affordable housing tax proposal is an outrageous overreach of the CVRD and an abdication of duty by the mayors and councils in Duncan and North Cowichan if that is where they want to park the problem.

We don’t need yet another “progressive” boondoggle tax to pay for new appointments, lunch meetings, high priced friendly consultants to study and report and meet and talk and disagree and mull and meet and eat and talk some more, to fix the problem of affordable housing in Cowichan.

CVRD, Duncan, North Cowichan and Cowichan Tribes can barely agree on regional recreation, sports and entertainment. How on earth can we expect all to agree, let alone administer, an affordable housing program? What is the CVRD doing in the affordable housing game anyway?

Subdivision housing developments do not belong in CVRD rural areas.

While some housing developments in rural areas may make sense, generally it’s not a good idea and against sound sustainable development principles.

CVRD should not receive tax dollars to support affordable housing programs away from managed infrastructure.

Affordable housing growth and development should happen in Duncan and North Cowichan urban growth areas only, in keeping with Official Community Plan bylaws.

The bottom line is the CVRD should stay out of affordable housing programs. Let rural dwellers have secondary suites for family, farm workers, and supplementary income, as current zoning permits. Housing development should take place almost exclusively in the incorporated municipalities.

Duncan and North Cowichan need strategies to ensure stable inventory of affordable accomodations in core areas by planning for the future, streamlining rules and regulations and making development application permit application determinations swiftly.

[North Cowichan Mayor] Jon Lefebure and his anti-development friends on council and the CVRD have poisoned the well of business and opportunity and our communities are suffering gravely. For the last four years this divided council has stopped, delayed, overturned or slow walked vital private sector residential and commercial development.causing low affordable housing inventory and high price accommodation in North Cowichan today. It is also the reason we have rampant drug addiction, homelessness and rising crime.

Developers are often taken to the brink of litigation before council approves major development permit applications. Other developers find opportunity elsewhere. Our only saving grace in spite of mayor and council’s actions, is a stronger economy to help force progress on private sustainable development.

In addition, divided council has failed to develop bylaws that have been on the books for years to allow secondary suites in virtually all R2 type single dwelling residential zones. This act alone would practically end the affordable home crisis.

North Cowichan of all places, does not need CVRD intervention to develop an affordable housing strategy. It has an abundance of prime land and could form its own strata corporation, arms length of council, to manage and develop housing as part of a mix of housing needs for the region between Victoria and Nanaimo. Working with the private sector these developments could come on line quickly.

I introduced three programs to stimulate growth in home inventory for sale and rent while on the municipal scene. I proposed rebates for new home builds and home renovations for safe secondary suites, $1,000 and $500 respectively fully funded from forest surpluses. Council compelled staff to act on my motion to develop a bylaw for secondary suites in R2 type zoned areas. North Cowichan Strata Corporation is an idea for discussion at council to manage prime land assets of the 12,000-plus acres of North Cowichan land holdings, acquired through tax sales from days gone by.

It’s time to better manage municipal land and surplus cash assets, adopt renter friendly bylaws and stimulate the commercial and residential construction sector. We don’t need another tax to solve the housing shortage.

John Koury

North Cowichan

Just Posted

Kerry Park Islanders’ continued improvement leads to first win

Isles double up Westshore for first victory of 2018-19

Lake Flashback: Deadly crash, arena upgrade, Youbou stalwart retires

There’s lots of detail in this week’s stories

Rod Peters throws hat in the ring for mayor

Local businessman says current council too complacent

Cowichan Valley invited to take a Coffee Break to support local dementia services

Funds raised at the events will help support local programs and services

Friendship Cup gets high school field hockey going

Cowichan beats Shawnigan in shootout to win Premier Division

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Cowichan Coffee Time: 4H, a marathon and fundraising

• A group of 4H-ers had a woolly good time at the… Continue reading

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Dozens line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

Most Read