5th Street from Cliffe to England avenues will close Saturday, July 25 to enhance the downtown experience for businesses and patrons, à la Market Day. Scott Stanfield photo

5th Street closure aims to enhance downtown Courtenay vibrancy

UPDATE:

At 12:35 p.m. Friday, the City of Courtenay reversed the decision for the Fifth Street closure, sending out the following notice:

“At the request of Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association, the road closure on 5th Street, originally scheduled for this Saturday, July 25th, has now been postponed. Stay tuned for more information about possible road closures on 5th Street to give more space for physical distancing this summer.”

***

(Original article)

Courtenay council authorized a request from the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association to temporarily close 5th Street from Cliffe to England avenues to vehicle traffic on Saturday, July 25, with possible additional Saturday closures forthcoming. Council will support further closures until Sept. 12 if the pilot closure is deemed a success.

Modelled after the Market Day event, the idea is to provide space for physical distancing while enhancing the downtown experience for businesses and patrons.

According to a DCBIA survey of members, 73 per cent of respondents support this type of road closure.

The total cost to the City for eight road closures would be about $12,400.

“I feel this is an opportunity for people to utilize downtown without their vehicles,” Coun. Manno Theos said at the July 20 meeting. “Next year, when the bridge is being worked on, this will be a good test run for people to access downtown possibly without their vehicle.”

READ: Courtenay council votes down cantilever option for Fifth Street Bridge

Habitat continues to build

Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North resumed construction last month at 1330 Lake Trail Rd., where 10 homes will be complete this fall.

Habitat intends to build 12 more homes at 1375 Piercy Ave. The proposed development will include a trio of fourplex buildings with side-by-side one- and two-storey units, framing a European courtyard design. Parking would be provided off the adjacent lane.

Council will take a closer look at the application upon receipt of a staff report.

READ: Habitat for Humanity eyes next Courtenay build…

Protected cycling lane

Council approved a resolution from David Frisch to reallocate $30,000 for buffered bike lane painting on 17th Street to fund design work for a protected bike lane for that section of 17th from Fitzgerald to McPhee Avenue. The resolution also calls for a design for a protected bike lane on 17th from McPhee to Willemar avenues.

Interim CAO Trevor Kushner expects the City can complete the work in six to eight weeks.

Gallery space

Staff will provide a report about a request from the CV Art Gallery board to occupy space on the second floor at 580 Duncan Ave. The board has a long-held vision of transforming the old fire hall into a Comox Valley Centre for the Arts. The gallery needs additional space for the Youth Media Project, which operates in the basement, which has poor ventilation.

Affordable housing

Council approved a letter of support for the Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society for its plan to house 36 seniors who need homes at decent rental rates. The society has amalgamated with the d’Esterre Senior Citizens Housing Society. There are 16 units on about an acre of land for d’Esterre in Comox. The Affordable Housing Society aims to increase the number to 52.

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