NIC student housing conceptual drawing by North Island College.

NIC student housing conceptual drawing by North Island College.

College updates Courtenay council about student housing project

North Island College is in the early stages of the RFP (Request for Proposals) process for its

student housing commons project, which will include 217 beds for students. This number will include 20 suites for families with a total of 60 beds.

“We’ll be able to serve shorter term rentals than the traditional academic year, as well as the academic year, and we’re very excited about that,” said Diane Naugler, director of future students and community engagement, in a June 13 presentation to Courtenay council.

The college plans for a soft opening in fall 2024 and a full opening in 2025. The commons will be located along Ryan Road near the intersection at Lerwick.

Standard Park

Council approved a motion from Doug Hillian for staff to write a report with options to address issues related to homelessness and public safety at Standard Park at 1450 Cliffe Ave. Hillian notes a nearby homeowner has described a gradual deterioration to her quality of life due to people camping in the riverbank area.

“In the past drunkenness might have been a concern, now it appears to be drug use that is accompanied by violence,” Hillian said. “The homeowner expresses concerns for her own safety and other park users.”

He expects the report will address the possibility of closing off the riverbank access in the area, as requested.

“It is a particularly challenging situation there,” CAO Geoff Garbutt said. “I agree, we need to look at some options.”

Development at 801 Ryan

Council gave third reading to a housing agreement bylaw for a development at 801 Ryan Rd. The purpose of the agreement is to ensure the affordable rental units at Glenhart Views are properly managed.

The applicant agreed to provide a minimum of 25 affordable units below market rent. Rents will be based on a BC Housing formula that won’t exceed 30 per cent of applicable Housing Income Limits. The rate will fluctuate from time to time depending on how BC Housing sets the HIL rates and increases.

The development consists of three five-storey apartment buildings. Amenities include a rooftop patio area for Buildings 2 and 3, an off-leash dog park and community garden spaces. The owner plans to create a multi-use path, and extend Tunner Drive from the intersection of Hunt Road.

Sewer conveyance

Construction of the $82 million Comox Valley sewage conveyance project is expected to start in spring 2023 and to be complete the following year. The project is needed to replace aging infrastructure.

“We need to upgrade our pump stations,” regional district CAO Russell Dyson said in a presentation.

Proposed changes from a preliminary map include:

•rebuild and relocate the Courtenay pump station;

•move route away from areas of archeological significance along Dyke Road, and work with K’ómoks First Nation to reduce impacts in IR#1;

•use traditional trench/cut and cover on Comox Hill instead of drilling;

•move portion of route from Comox Avenue to Beaufort Avenue to minimize traffic impacts;

•options for Lazo Marsh crossing — seeking alternative to drilling in the area.

“Mitigation of traffic impacts is one of our biggest priorities for the project,” said Kris La Rose, the CVRD’s senior manager of water and wastewater services.

Also, the south sewer extension project will provide access to treatment works for Royston and Union Bay residents, and the KFN. Dyson notes that Baynes Sound comprises about half the shellfish industry in B.C.

“The regional district has been at this for over 20 years,” said Dyson, noting two failed referendums and a Liquid Waste Management Plan.

Anti-harassment signage

The city has erected the following sign at all Courtenay baseball diamonds: ‘Please practice respect and kindness toward your officials and each other.’

The message came about after Erik Eriksson, representing the BC Baseball Umpires Association, requested an amendment to the Parks Control Bylaw to prohibit harassment of sports officials, and to install appropriate signage at parks and other facilities. The signage cost $879.48.

Plaque request

Courtenay Hiram Lodge and the Masonic Temple Society hope to install a 10-inch plaque on the sidewalk in front of the Courtenay Masonic Temple at 361 5th St. Established in 1891, the lodge has been at its 5th Street location in the downtown core since 1923. The fraternity is active in the community, providing cancer car services and educational bursaries.

LUSH Valley Food Action Society

Council approved a $10,000 allocation from discretionary gaming funds to support programming at the LUSH Valley Food Action Society. The non-profit had requested $30,000 to support its Good Food Box healthy hampers and Hot Meals programs for vulnerable populations.

Last year, council had also provided $10,000 to LUSH, which hopes to build a local food system to increase capacity and markets for farmers.

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NIC student housing conceptual drawing by North Island College.