Livewell Cohousing project starter Yonas Jongkind explains the idea of cohousing to a group of interested individuals in Qualicum Beach along Laburnum Road Saturday afternoon where the development is slated to sit.

Cohousing in Qualicum Beach still in the early stages

Rezoning applications have been submitted to the Town of Qualicum

Fifteen potential buyers for one of Qualicum Beach’s two proposed cohousing developments attended a site tour Saturday afternoon rallying excitement for a new housing concept and way of life.

“Cohousing is a custom planned neighbourhood designed by future residents,” Yonas Jongkind explained to The NEWS Saturday from the west end of Laburnum Road, where the development is slated to go if it draws enough interest and investment.

Jongkind is a project starter with Livewell Cohousing’s Aldermuir location and he’s lived in two cohousing developments outside Qualicum Beach.

“It’s a progressive idea in today’s world,” he admits, noting the cohousing idea originated in Denmark in the late 1960s.

The Canadian Cohousing Network describes cohousing neighbourhoods as a return to the best of small-town communities, a traditional village, a close-knit neighbourhood and an altogether new response to social, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century.

There are 19 cohousing developments under construction or complete at this time in British Columbia. Six are on Vancouver Island, two in Qualicum Beach.

Basically, those interested in becoming part of a cohousing neighbourhood come together and communally make planning and design decisions ultimately sharing the responsibility in managing and maintaining their jointly owned community.

While the project is in its infancy and developers haven’t purchased land yet, Jongkind said interest in the project is budding.

The 19.9-acre site in question is privately owned and will need to be rezoned prior to construction. Livewell has already submitted rezoning applications to the Town of Qualicum Beach and is hoping to have a successful third reading in May, close to the time they will purchase land if all goes as planned.

French Creek resident Jan Wilson attended last weekend’s site tour.

“It’s an awesome idea on so many levels,” Wilson said. “Anybody from any age group can benefit from living in a community.”

Wilson said a person can live in a regular strata development without ever meeting their neighbours, leading to loneliness and isolation.

She said she’s interested in cohousing because it boasts a sense of community where genuine relationships can foster — and also because the site is in “a serene, rural setting.”

The cost of housing is yet to be determined but Jongkind estimated a one-bedroom home may go for around $250,000. The site is looking to host 28 homes composed of 10 duplexes, two fourplexes and a few single family homes.

Livewell president Gary Morrison told The NEWS construction could start as early as 2016 and be complete by the spring of 2017.

Down the road, a second cohousing development is underway for a 16.2 hectare lot also along Laburnum Road near Qualicum Beach Elementary, spearheaded by the Valterra Village Cohousing Planning Group.

Morrison said the two groups, while they have a common cohousing goal, are going in “different directions.”

To their credit, he said, Valterra has a bold vision for sustainability and a stronger focus on farming whereas the Aldermuir group is more interested in “cocktails in the gazebo.”  For more information visit www.livewellcohousing.ca

Just Posted

More Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Douglas-fir ecosystem protected from logging

B.C. Gov’t announces 980.5 hectares of protected land added

Qualicum Beach mayor plans to run for re-election

Teunis Westbroek hopes to continue serving needs of Town’s residents as mayor

25th year for TOSH’s Grand Prix d’Art in Qualicum Beach

Dozens of artists to take part in painting competition July 28

Royals finish second at 18U provincials

The Save-on-Foods Parksville Royals missed a golden opportunity to earn a ticket… Continue reading

Artists explore light at MAC in Parksville

OCAC members’ exhibit showing July 21-Sept. 1

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

Zone 6: Rugby star Maggie Banks carries family legacy to BC Games

Shawnigan Lake student and Coquitlam native following her parents to the national program

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

Most Read