A map from North Cowichan shows the location of the proposed Chemainus development.

A map from North Cowichan shows the location of the proposed Chemainus development.

Many residents still lukewarm to old Chemainus Elementary School redevelopment

Project given final approval amid conceerns about increased traffic, limited park space

The new subdivision on municipally-owned land in Chemainus where Chemainus Elementary School once stood that received final approval at the Sept. 20 meeting was given a cool reception from many who spoke to North Cowichan council.

North Cowichan took over ownership of the 1.53-hectare property in 2013 and preliminary plans call for the construction of 10 single-family or duplex lots on the site, and a multi-family lot that would allow up to 13 units.

The rest of the property is planned to be used for park space.

Concerns were raised during the application process about providing affordable housing options on the site, and some at the meeting raised additional concerns with the project.

Dave Campbell said he fears the new subdivision will see increased traffic in the neighbourhood and the proposed height of some of the buildings will impede his view.

Mona Tupper said she’s “shocked” at how few places there are in the community to go for a walk, and the site has been providing her a place to walk for some time.

“This property is a jewel that should be left the way it is,” she said.

“If I knew how little park space there was in Chemainus, I would have stayed in the city.”

Coun. Tom Walker said the municipality has developed a proposal that meets most of the concerns of the residents.

“We can’t please everyone and this is as good as it gets,” he said.