The Salt Spring Local Trust Committee made steps toward meeting the island’s affordable housing needs by moving three project applications forward at Thursday’s business meeting.
The LTC started its run at advancing nearly 100 new units by giving first reading to a rezoning application for Tami and Fernando dos Santos’ Dragonfly Commons development on Drake Road, which proposes 20 low-cost micro homes that eligible people employed in the community could purchase.
“This initiative has my unqualified support,” said trustee George Grams. “We know housing is perhaps our most pressing issue at the moment. I thank you for bringing this forward and making this opportunity possible for the community.”
Community Services project
The LTC also gave first reading to a housing agreement related to another affordable home-ownership project. Salt Spring Community Services is planning a 24-unit project for Salt Spring Island Commons on Bishop’s Walk, which will include at least four rental units.
The LTC gave first reading to a rezoning bylaw for the Croftonbrook expansion project to allow 34 rental units and an office in a three-storey apartment building on a portion of the land currently zoned for agriculture. Another 20 units that don’t require rezoning are planned for an earlier phase.
Contract planner Susan Palmer expressed reservations about several issues she felt applicant Island Women Against Violence should resolve first through the referral process. These included emergency access/egress, fire protection and water supply.
IWAV’s funding agreement with the CRD Regional Housing First Program means that 18 units will be rented at the shelter allowance rate of $375 for the hard to house and chronically homeless. The remaining units will range in size and rent, increasing from the shelter rate to a maximum below-market rate.
During the LTC’s meeting’s town hall session, neighbours from the existing Croftonbrook units and the Cottonwood Close strata complex next door raised concerns about traffic, the length and disruption of construction, obstruction of views and the resulting loss in property values.
The LTC agreed to go ahead with first reading of the bylaw despite the unresolved issues, noting these will have to be addressed in order to move further.
For much more on this story, see the Oct. 11, 2017 issue of the Driftwood or subscribe online.