The plan is for a three-storey, multi-family building on Second Street. Photo by Mike Chouinard

The plan is for a three-storey, multi-family building on Second Street. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Cumberland considers social housing proposal

Plan is for three-storey, multi-family building on Island Health land

A couple of organizations are applying to build a social housing apartment block in Cumberland.

At the most recent meeting on Aug. 10, council considered an official community plan (OCP) amendment and rezoning application for properties on Second Street that would allow for the construction of the 23-unit apartment.

The move will require the consolidation of three adjacent lots, owned by Island Health, for the housing. It would lease the properties to the Comox Valley Transition Society and Dawn to Dawn – Action on Homelessness Society to operate the building. The two groups have received preliminary funding from BC Housing and are looking for full development and construction costs from Building BC.

The proposal is for a three-storey building with one single-bedroom unit, four two-bedroom units, 15 three-bedroom units and three four-bedroom units.

There is a covenant on the sites stating the properties are to be developed to provide affordable housing.

“It would be affordable rentals,” senior planner Karin Albert told council during a presentation. “It would require creation of a new zone.”

RELATED STORY: New rental housing project in Courtenay to help mid-income earners

As part of the process to amend the OCP from DPA6 – Residential Infill to DPA7 – Multi-family, there are provisions for landscaping and recreation or play areas on site.

Albert said, if with the new zoning created, there will need to be a variance to provide setback allowances. Parking also would present an issue based on the number of zones required. For 23 stalls, there would likely be eight on site, with cash in lieu offered to cover the remaining 15 spots.

There have been some preliminary comments, Albert said, about traffic, noise, light, existing infrastructure and parking space. The applicants have already sought feedback prior to any formal public hearing through the Village, and they will also be holding a public information session slated for the morning of Thursday, Aug. 27 at the proposed site.

On council, there was definite enthusiasm for the idea of social housing. Coun. Jesse Ketler said she was happy to see the plan come before council, adding the issue had been on the agenda for the affordable housing committee for several years, with members laying the groundwork for a project to provide more housing for the community.

“The need is so great,” she said, adding, “It really is for families…. I really like the design.”

Coun. Vickey Brown also was pleased to see the proposal come forward. She did raise a few questions, including why the zoning would cover four storeys, even though the proposed structure is three. She wondered whether they could look at three storeys with higher ceilings. She also asked about the accessibility of the property, adding she would like the matter sent to council’s accessibility committee for comment.

Council approved a motion to refer the plans to the homelessness and affordable housing committees, advisory planning commission and accessibility committee.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

affordable housingCumberland

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society reaching families in the Comox Valley and beyond

COVID-19 restrictions forced a subdued first-anniversary celebration for the Vancouver Island Down… Continue reading

Cumberland photographer Sara Kemper recently took the top spot in a Canadian Geographic photography contest. Photo by Sara Kemper
Cumberland photographer takes top Canadian Geographic photo prize

Sara Kemper shows what home means to her in Comox Valley photo

Gord John stands during question period in Ottawa in Sept. 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY CHRISTIAN DIOTTE, HOUSE OF COMMONS PHOTO SERVICES)
2020: A Year in Review with Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns

NDP MP wants to ‘build back better’ in 2021

A concept plan for the Bevan Road industrial lands from 2020. Council recently approved variances to help move along the development. Image, Village of Cumberland
Cumberland approves variance for Bevan industrial lands

Change allows one site to be smaller than the minimum lot size

The Comox Valley RCMP have issued a warrant for Brittany Forrest. Photo supplied
Comox Valley RCMP issue arrest warrant for 29-year-old woman

The Comox Valley RCMP have issued an arrest warrant for 29-year-old Brittany… Continue reading

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Updated: Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head prison inmates in receive first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A water taxi at Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man arrested after stolen water taxi raced up Victoria’s Gorge Waterway

Man is facing recommended charges of theft over $5,000 after leading police on marine chase

Most Read