Developer asks Parksville to donate property for co-housing project

Councillor says local housing crunch should be addressed

A delegation that proposed a co-housing project on a property that would be donated by the City of Parksville prompted a call for exploration into the idea by Coun. Kim Burden during council’s regular meeting July 5.

Prior to the meeting, developer and builder Daniel Duggan suggested the city donate the vacant parcel of land on Jensen Avenue, between city hall and the Parksville Volunteer Fire Department hall, for an affordable housing project utilizing sustainable building practices and a combination of corporate and municipal investment.

“It’s not a whimsical luxury; it’s an imperative,” said Duggan, a “semi-retired” commercial developer now working with Affordable Housing Vancouver Island.

“This would help alleviate the crisis in affordable, entry-level homes in Parksville. Many families that would like to move into the area can’t afford to get into the market.”

Near the end of the council meeting that followed, after Duggan had left chambers, Burden attempted to introduce a motion requesting city staff draft a request for proposal to see what kind of affordable housing proposals the city would get from non-profit developers.

That drew an immediate response from Coun. Sue Powell, who asked chief administrative officer Deb Comis to confirm whether council had previously stated it was not interested in putting out an RFP for the Jensen Avenue property.

Comis acknowledged that was true, and added that an RFP of the kind suggested by Burden was problematic on multiple fronts.

“Unless council is actually prepared to move forward… preparing an RFP is a lot of work,” said Comis. “Right now, the planning department is swamped. If we’re going to do this we need specific direction.

“And it’s costly for developers to put that kind of proposal together. Unless council is planning to actually award a contract, it would be unfair to the developer.”

Burden suggested council “start to explore” how it might use the property to help ease the housing pinch for young families and single workers priced out of the local market.

“We’ve had discussions on that before,” said Mayor Marc Lefebvre, noting the absence of Coun. Leanne Salter and Coun. Teresa Patterson. “But I’d like to see you bring it back when we have a full council.”

Burden said he would be happy to do so.

Comis said such a discussion involving the disposition of city-owned land would fall under the Community Charter, which would guide council toward a closed-door (in camera) meeting.

“I’m sure you’ve whet some appetites tonight, Coun. Burden,” said Lefebvre.

Just Posted

Drunk driver ticketed after wrong-way rollover

Nanaimo man crashes on Inland Island Highway near Qualicum Beach

Car fire on Hwy. 19 near Nanoose slowing traffic

Fire has been put out, and the car has been removed

Bowser woman recovering from stabbing wounds

Police arrest 22-year-old male suspect in Nov. 14 incident

SOS marks 50 years of Christmas giving in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Society to mark golden anniversary with series of events in 2018

Homeless society unveils community care mobile in Parksville

Health care items, advice to be dispensed from RV

VIDEO: Clay throwing demonstration

Local potter giving demos during annual sale

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

Most Read