Courtenay council was full of praise for a fourplex housing project proposed near the downtown core during Monday’s council meeting.
Coun. Bill Anglin said the project is exactly what he would like to see more of in downtown Courtenay.
“It looks like a really interesting project and I think it could easily serve as a blueprint of that kind of infill development that we’re looking for in the downtown area,” Anglin said to Glen Cross who was representing Heritage Revival Homes’ project at the council meeting.
Council unanimously voted to move forward with the applications to amend the City’s Official Community Plan and rezone the vacant lot located at 932 Fifth Street, near Apple Tree Market.
A public hearing is scheduled for Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall (830 Cliffe Ave.).
The building would feature a steeper roofline with gables and dormers to help reflect the heritage character of the area, and make the fourplex look simply like a house.
“We’re looking to create something that you can’t really tell it’s a fourplex and trying to maintain the integrity of downtown Courtenay’s heritage with older homes,” said Cross. “I’ve built a few houses in Old Orchard and I’m just looking to carry that through here on Fifth Street.”
The fourplex would include two one-bedroom units on the bottom and two two-bedroom upper units.
“We’ve put a little more work into the grounds as well to try to create more of the urban garden feel rather than just the bare minimum of lawns and whatnot,” added Cross. “All of the grounds outside are common grounds to be shared by all the residents.”
Cross held a neighbourhood public meeting in mid-October, but only one local resident attended; that person expressed support for the project.
However, Cross noted he’s spoken with neighbours when he’s been on the property.
“Just being on the property, people, they come out their doors pretty quick and they’re curious and interested — and the feedback’s been positive,” added Cross.
Coun. Starr Winchester noted her history with the area, and said she’s really pleased with the proposed project.
“I grew up in this neighbourhood, and 60 years ago, this is what I remember it looking like so I’m hoping that this is just the start,” she said. “I know there has been some revitalization in that neighbourhood and I look forward to more.”
Coun. Doug Hillian also mentioned the area could use some more revitalization.
“This is a section of our community that is in need of some attention and I think that this development will be part of that solution given that what we have essentially right now is a vacant lot, a bit of an eyesore,” he said. “The applicant seems to have taken some trouble to design something that will fit in with the heritage of the community.”
Coun. Manno Theos echoed Anglin’s earlier statement regarding infilling in the downtown core, noting he’s pleased with the proposal.
“This type of development really appears to be bang-on to what we have been talking about, in terms of enhancing and encouraging activity in our downtown core,” said Theos. “This project potentially hits all the right buttons.”