Croftonbrook Phase-3 housing plan approved

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Islanders Working Against Violence has received the approvals it needs to move forward with its preferred plan for the third and final phase of the Croftonbrook affordable housing development.

The Salt Spring Local Trust Committee gave unanimous support Tuesday to the Phase-3 development variance and development permits. This will allow construction of a three-storey multifamily building with an increased height variance, and the renovation of an existing duplex dwelling into office space.

Planning staff had recommended the permits be approved, but also recommended the LTC direct IWAV to attempt to further mitigate the construction impact on residents.

“I think this is exactly the kind of affordable housing project we need in this community and I’m in favour of staff’s recommendations,” said trustee Peter Grove.

In addition to opposition from existing Croftonbrook residents, who have been undergoing Phase-2 construction noise and were reluctant to have that continue, other neighbours had also asked for the permits to be rejected. Residents of the Cottonwood Close townhouse strata did not agree with a three-storey building or with plans to move the course of the Croftonbrook stream. Jack Woodward, owner of the Harbour Farm on the other side of the property, also registered concern about how the project would impact the stream and his farm.

Trustee Laura Patrick said she was not concerned about the brook because permitting is being done through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. She also found no problem with the three-storey building because of IWAV’s site planning.

“I think the applicant has done an excellent job moving the building out of the [Cottonwood Close] viewscape,” Patrick said.

She added that she felt for the current residents, but at the same time believed IWAV’s plan to bring mixed demographics to the site is the right way to produce a vibrant community, rather than restricting the development to seniors.

“This is tough, but it could have been worse,” Patrick observed. “I appreciate the steps the applicant is taking.”

For more on this story, see the Aug. 5 issue of the Driftwood newspaper.

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