A major seniors’ housing complex, Ocean Front Village, is being planned near the intersection of Cliffe Avenue and 29th Street.
City council gave first and second readings Monday night to a zoning amendment bylaw as one of the first steps in allowing the project to proceed.
Golden Life, of Cranbrook, wants to build the seniors complex on five contiguous lots with a total size of 3.61 acres. Each of the properties fronts onto Cliffe Avenue and the Courtenay Riverway.
The proposed complex includes 78 independent living units in a four-storey building, and a two-storey building with a 76-bed assisted care facility.
Development services director Ian Buck told council that staff has been working “quite a bit” with the developers to make sure that the project stands out architecturally because of its prominent location.
As well, he said, the developers were concerned with maintaining a view corridor to the estuary and have proposed a glass-walled building joining the two main complexes.
“The form and character of both the Landscape Site Plan and building rendering … is designed to capture the west coast feel of Courtenay with consideration of an important view corridor from 29th Street to the Comox Harbour,” wrote applicant Adam Lillejord.
The zoning amendment will involve rezoning two of the five properties currently zoned commercial to multi-residential R-4A, and to add care facility and complementary uses in the R-4A zone.
As part of the development proposal, an undeveloped City road right-of-way will be closed and consolidated with the five properties. In exchange, the developer will dedicate a new road right-of-way, adjacent to the A&W restaurant, to contain City services and provide a walkway connection from Cliffe Avenue to the Riverway.
Coun. Doug Hillian said, “I think this could potentially be a very solid development … of course the traffic has to be considered.”
The 29th and Cliffe intersection, which will be the main access point to the development, is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation.
The ministry’s approval is needed before the City can proceed to public hearing on the zoning amendment.
Golden Life was founded by Endre Lillejord, who began exploring housing options for his mother in the 1990s. Institutional settings were the norm at that time so he set his construction company the task of building the type of home he wanted for his mother.
The first development was Cranbrook’s Joseph Creek Village and Lillejord’s mother was the first resident.
Since then the company has built seniors’ facilities in Castlegar, Invermere, Creston, Fruitvale, Fernie, Trail, Nelson, Kimberley and Grand Forks as well as a number in Alberta.