Courtenay council

Courtenay council

Courtenay neighbourhood divided over secondary suite application

At its March 15 meeting, Courtenay council approved second reading of an application to add a secondary suite at 2129 Blue Jay Place, near Isfeld Secondary and the Crown Isle shopping centre. Feedback from neighbours has been mixed. Concerns are largely about traffic and on-street parking.

“We are having a major problem with cars parked on the street,” states the owner at 2041 Blue Jay Place. “Having a suite would just further this problem and is not in keeping with the original plan for the area.”

A few residents at Swallow Crescent have no objections to the proposal. Those who live at The Woodlands patio home complex had varying opinions.

A staff report says the application represents infill development within an established neighbourhood designated Urban Residential in the Official Community Plan. Courtenay’s OCP and the Affordable Housing Policy support infill development, provided it is in keeping with the character and scale of the surrounding neighbourhood.

“Infill housing provides more rental housing stock and diversity of housing types, and promotes more efficient use of land that is already serviced,” the report states.

A public hearing will be held before council considers third reading.

Substance Use Strategy

The Comox Valley Community Health Network is partnering with many groups, individuals and organizations to create a regional Substance Use Strategy. People with lived experience are contributing to its development.

The strategy is adapting elements of the 4 Pillars Framework: health promotion and prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery, and community safety.

“There’s a key opportunity in the Comox Valley Regional District to focus on educational interventions across each of these four pillars,” consultant Evan Jolicoeur said.

He notes a great deal of work ahead in terms of data analysis to fully comprehend the local situation, and to create a consensus among partners on the need and commitment to a community strategy.

“People struggling with mental health and addiction issues often have no voice, and have a wide knowledge base in what they need, and what’s wrong and what’s right in services provided,” said Sam Franey, a peer support worker on Walk With Me, a CV Art Gallery project that explores the overdose crisis.

“I think we need to remember that there are many people in our community who are struggling with this in their families,” Coun. Wendy Morin said.

A final written report will contain a framework, first phase strategy, and recommendations and actions.

EV stations

Council directed staff to proceed with engineering assessments of three Level 2 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations. Suggested dual port locations are the Lewis Centre, and 6th and England. City Hall would be single port.

Staff said $100,000 has been allocated for the stations, but 73 per cent of funding is available from the provincial government, resulting in a total cost of about $27,000. A yearly inspection by an electrician will cost about $300. Electricity costs are estimated at about $20,000 a year for all three sites. Grant criteria requires the city to pay electricity costs for five years, estimated at $100,000.

Greenwood Trunk

Due to an aquifer breach, the city will reallocate $1 million from the New Works Reserve-Community Gas Tax Funds and $492,500 from the prior year sewer operating surplus into the $4.1 million budget for the Greenwood Trunk sewer project. Construction began last June and was about three-quarters complete until a breach in the floor caused inflow from an underground aquifer. Soils below the excavation need to be remediated before a lift station is installed. When complete, the project will re-route part of East Courtenay’s sewage flows to a portion of the Greenwood Trunk sewer constructed by the CVRD in 2017.