At the recent open house on the proposed four-storey, 34-foot high apartment building on Anderton Road, one of the main concerns was the impact of loss of light to surrounding properties. The development company’s shadow diagrams showed the effects only between March and September but the shadows during the winter months are far longer (see planetcalc.com.)
As shown by the almost identical 40 complexes this company has across Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, it has one “recipe” only, and the spokesperson stated that it would not make any changes to this, such as lowering the height to three storeys. It also made it clear that rents would be whatever the market would bear.
The spokesperson was unable to state what the target market was or to provide any supporting needs analysis. Neighbourhood residents were deemed to be merely obstructive and unwilling to consider the needs of others while the company was touted as meeting such needs without, however, specifying what they were.
This is a cookie-cutter proposal with no regard for demographics or community design. It is a profit-driven venture by a company bent on squeezing as many units as it is allowed on to the land and getting as much rent as it can.
Affordable housing is a major issue at all levels of government but will municipalities continue to react to profit-motivated developers or will they proactively plan and create suitable housing themselves? This is an opportune time for the Town of Comox to show vision and leadership by rejecting this proposal and creating a group to design and implement a development that is affordable and within the parameters of the Official Community Plan. And the answer to “Whose design is it anyway?” should be an unequivocal “Ours.”