Your Weekly North Vancouver Island Construction News

November 29, 2023

In this Week’s Issue of Building Links

  • BC: ​​​small-scale multi-unit housing on single-detached and duplex zoned lots
  • Courtenay: upcoming $4 million Puntledge Sanitary Catchment Replacement project
  • Campbell River: request for subcontractors for the $73 million REC-REATE project
The BC Government has introduced major legislation overhauling the management of housing in the province. Bills 44, 46 and 47 are before the legislature for consideration.

BC: ​​​small-scale multi-unit housing on single-detached and duplex zoned lots.

New provincial legislation with Bills 44, 46, and 47 will increase development opportunities and potentially increase DCC costs. The new legislation will move away from spot zoning to enable small-scale multi-unit housing including up to 4 units in single-detached and duplex zones and up to 6 units close to bus stops with frequent service. Secondary suites or an ADU may also be allowed on single-detached lots throughout BC. In addition, the legislation will expand the scope of infrastructure for which Development Cost Charges can be collected to include fire protection facilities, police facilities, and solid waste facilities and collect costs for provincial highway infrastructure projects where there is a cost-sharing arrangement between the municipality and the province. Finally there will be new Amenity Cost Charges tools to allow local governments to collect monetary and in kind contributions for amenities such as community centres, recreation centres, libraries and more. Municipalities will be required to update their Official Community Plans and zoning bylaws to meet long-term housing needs and to update on a regular basis. Changes are expected to be in place by mid-2024. The BC government is expected to provide local governments with policy manuals in December and Housing Needs Report guidance in January. Local governments must have updated their bylaws to accommodate small-scale multi-unit housing by June 2024.

Courtenay: upcoming $4 million Puntledge Sanitary Catchment Replacement project.

Council has given first through third reading to a bylaw that increases the budget for the Puntledge Sanitary Catchment Replacement project to $4 million funded from $3.5 million in debt and $500,000 from Sewer Asset Management Reserves. The existing Puntledge Sanitary river crossing is at the end of its service life and presents a potential environmental and public health risk. This is a planned upgrade that the city expects to tender in Q1 of 2024. The budget increase is the result of anticipated cost increases due to contaminated soils in the area. Recent changes in environmental regulations has changed how soils contaminated with Arsenic are handled, despite the fact that Arsenic is naturally occurring in this area. In addition, the City is considering switching the 5th Street road works (in front of Lewis Center) to night work, should the Puntledge project end up in conflict with the Comox Valley Regional District’s Conveyance project. The traffic impacts of both projects could be significant. The loan amount is within the City’s approval-free limit, and does not require Electoral approval. The annual debt servicing costs are expected to be $229,748 based on a 30-year loan amortization period at a rate of 4.69%.

Campbell River: request for subcontractors for the $73 million REC-REATE project.

A pre-qualifications request has been issued for Electrical, Mechanical, Concrete Formwork, Civil / Site Works, Structural Steel, and Tiling for the Strathcona REC-REATE renovation and addition project. Second Stage – Invitation to Tender will be issued to only those successful prequalified subcontractors. Construction is expected to start in Spring 2024 with completion in 2026. The project is estimated to cost $73 million. The request closes December 14.

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