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Saratoga Beach development moving right along

This map shows the area affected by the proposed Saratoga Beach Estates Development in the northern reaches of Area C (Puntledge-Black Creek). - Photo submitted
This map shows the area affected by the proposed Saratoga Beach Estates Development in the northern reaches of Area C (Puntledge-Black Creek).
— image credit: Photo submitted

The shovel is already in the ground, say proponents of the proposed Saratoga Beach Estates Development in the northern reaches of Area C (Puntledge-Black Creek).

The Comox Valley Regional District board recently adopted a bylaw to rezone about half of the 75-acre parcel.

Phase One of the strata development allots space for 143 city-size lots.

"That fits in with the Smart Growth principle of increasing the density in the right spots," said Jay Oddleifson, agent on behalf of property owner George Cowling. "That area is, as determined by the Regional Growth Strategy, a settlement node. It's one of the places identified in the RGS to put people."

The project, he added, will not be a gated community but will likely appeal to seniors ready to downsize to a 1.5-storey home in the 1,200- to 1,500-square-foot range.

The CVRD was in the middle of splitting with what is now the Strathcona Regional District following the first application to rezone the Saratoga Beach site in 2006.

"The regional district was kind of paralyzed there for a while," Oddleifson said. "We were stalled and it was really hard for it to go forward."

But the infrastructure is mostly in place — it even includes natural gas.

"The facilities are in there," Oddleifson said, noting the presence of storm drain, hydrants and light standards. "I would say it's 75 per cent done. We're ahead of the curve on getting to work."

The company is looking for builders.

The CVRD is requesting Saratoga Beach Estates to design and construct a treatment plant and discharge system capable of being expanded to the 20-year service population of 4,500 people.

"Our plant is going to become the regional facility," Oddleifson said.

Cowling, an Alberta resident, owns playgrounds in the Oyster River area and the Driftwood Estates waterfront development near Saratoga.

"He's not a blank face from Alberta," Oddleifson said. "He's put into this area — and paying a lot of tax."

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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