Your Weekly North Vancouver Island Construction News

November 3, 2021

In this Week’s Issue of Building Links

  • Black Creek: A new ocean front 29 unit tourist development is under construction.
  • Tofino and Cumberland: Tenders released to streamline development approvals. 
  • Campbell River: Métis Nation BC has purchased property for a rental housing and child care centre.
This architectural rendering shows the proposed design concept for an approved commercial tourist development in Black Creek. All buildings are raised on stilts to accommodate the developments proximity to the shoreline.

Black Creek: A new ocean front 29 unit tourist development is under construction.

Construction has begun on a new ocean front 29 unit tourist development in Black Creek, between Courtenay and Campbell River. The applicant intends to build up to 36 tourist units on the site and will apply for a rezoning application to increase density at a later date. the current zoning limits density to 29 units. Eight building permits ranging in value from $850,000 to $907,000 have been issued for the units, include a caretaker’s residence. A development permit application was approved in June of 2020. The property is currently vacant, except for some concrete platforms that were poured in 2006 for a resort development that was later abandoned. The property has an existing water connection to the Black Creek Oyster Bay Water Local Service Area. To manage and balance water consumption, the applicant is proposing an above-ground cistern tank located on the common area at the front yard. As proposed, the development consists of seven four-unit buildings with balconies on the upper floors. Exterior features include cedar shingle siding with metal cladding and roofing, and parking below the units.

Tofino and Cumberland: Tenders released to streamline development approvals.

Tofino and Cumberland have released tenders to streamline their development approval systems. Both communities, as with most on the island, are experiencing substantial growth with proposals for new developments. Tofino notes, over the past couple of years, the land development landscape has become faster paced and more complicated. Updated provincial requirements combined with new municipal regulations has resulted in the need for increased collaboration between municipal departments and outside agencies. The Tofino Development Approvals Framework project is intended to streamline the development approval process and lead to positive outcomes related to the provision of affordable housing. The project would also set a baseline for analyzing the effectiveness of the approval process over time, leading to long-term and sustained improvements to Tofino’s approval process.

The Village of Cumberland also notes dramatic growth, an influx of new residents and a development boom. The existing development approvals process, public communication materials, and document management systems are no longer adequate to handle the high volume and sophistication of development activity. This project will include a review of the development approval process and result in changes to bylaws, policies, procedures, and public communications, including the selection of an electronic system to manage development applications. These changes will result in increased process efficiency and effectiveness, reduced staff time spent responding to enquiries, and decreased applicant frustration. Improved systems and access to information will increase transparency and residents’ understanding of the development process, including how they can become engaged and provide their input. 

Campbell River: Métis Nation BC has purchased property for a rental housing and child care centre.

Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) has acquired a vacant .638 acre property at 834 Island Highway S to build below-market rate rental housing for Métis families, a Métis child care centre, and office space for the North Island Métis Association (NIMA). The purchase, totaling $1.16 million, is part of MNBC’s goal of creating Métis centres across the province in all seven regions. The new 61 space child care facility combined with an affordable Métis family housing project will be designed to meet the needs of Métis families in the area. MNBC is partnering with NIMA to collaborate on the build of the project. M’akola Development Services, an Indigenous-based, socially-conscious professional development services organization, has been engaged to lead the development of the project. Details about the number of housing units are yet to be determined. Funding has been provided under the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Early Learning and Child Care Accord, and supports a community-based system of child care, so families have access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care no matter where they live. These services are especially important for Urban Indigenous children and their families. 

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