Parksville’s proposed affordable housing project was well received at a second public hearing, necessitated by new information after the first public hearing.
Taking place at the start of a regular council meeting on May 2, there were about a dozen people in the gallery and Vince Jandirsch, owner of the subject property, the former Post and Lantern hotel, was the first to speak.
He summarized the changes since the last public hearing in July 2010, confirming what was recently reported to council.
Changes include securing a new contractor, with a higher construction cost estimate and receiving an additional $278,000 loan from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for a total of $928,000.
It will still include two wheelchair accessible units on the ground floor and add 13 “barrier free” units, which are not big enough to be wheelchair accessible, but will have grab-rails, easy-use hardware on the doors and windows and walk-in showers rather than baths, which will make them suitable for people with limited mobility.
Two members of the public spoke on the application, Caroline Waters said it was “a commendable and important project” but she was against it while the OCP (official community plan) is being re-written.
“I’d ask you to stick to the commitment of the ongoing OCP process,” she said, and, “end the one lot at a time creativeness,” of constant rezoning applications.
She said it was “eerily similar to the Watermark proposal,” a residential-resort beside the Beach Club which council recently rejected.
Mrs. Larry Post said she was a resident of Azalea Terrace next door and there were three of them at the meeting in favour of the project. She said she was all for the OCP process but the residents were tired of looking at the rundown property and cleaning up litter around the area.
Jandirsch clarified a persistent rumor, pointing out the CMHC funding will limit the rent they can charge to $637 per month and they only plan to charge $550.
The information was received by council and the application will come back at an upcoming meeting.
Jandirsch has said they are ready to break ground the day they get the approval and pointed out that Cabernet’s Restaurant on the same property will remain open through the process.