At its June 15 meeting, Courtenay council approved a motion from Doug Hillian to invite a presentation by BC Housing, in response to concerns about The Junction supportive housing complex.
At the previous meeting, some residents at the Kiwanis Village for seniors suggested the neighbourhood has deteriorated since the Junction opened last year at 988 Eighth St.
Junction operator John Howard Society will also be invited to make a presentation.
“I think it’s important that we give BC Housing and their operator the opportunity to speak to the concerns that have been raised,” Hillian said. “I think that would give us further information to move forward with some other approaches to help alleviate some of the challenges.”
Council agreed to waive a public hearing before considering third reading of a rezoning application for a 118-unit rental apartment and amenities.
Veyron Properties Group hopes to build the five-storey complex at 1025 Ryan Rd. near Superstore. The apartments would be a mix of micro units (less than 29 square metres), studios, one bedrooms and two bedrooms. Veyron had offered to cap the rental rates for six units at $812.50 per month. The company has since increased the number of affordable units to eight. It’s also offering a six-month pre-paid bus pass to the first occupants of the eight suites.
In a letter, Veyron president Brett Giese says more than 60,000 square feet of vacant commercial space is available in the immediate area, including the former Canadian Tire building, the closed Prime Chop House and at the Washington Park Plaza.
Coun. Manno Theos is concerned about employment opportunities, and does not understand how $800-plus for less than a studio size apartment is affordable.
“I don’t see that our community has the type of employment required for all these units,” Theos said.
Council instructed staff to report back about options and implications of temporary street closures on parts of 5th Street and Duncan Avenue, the use of street space by merchants and restaurants during such closures, and the use of signage for voluntary one-way flow on sidewalks to enable greater social distancing.
Coun. Will Cole-Hamilton forwarded the resolution in an effort to revitalize the downtown core.
Council approved $78,750 for the Comox Valley Art Gallery Society Management and Operating Agreement Amendment, and the Comox Valley Art Council Fee For Service Agreement. The money is to come from gaming funds.