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North Cowichan picks options for future afforable housing building

Chemainus Neighbourhood House and Harvest House a good fit

Two significant matters pertaining to Chemainus were on the agenda during the Municipality of North Cowichan’s Sept. 6 council meeting.

Council heard from staff about the expressions of interest received for the use of community space on the ground floor of the future affordable housing building at 9800 Willow St. in Chemainus. Council confirmed Cowichan Neighbourhood House and Harvest House would be a good fit for the project, and will now wait for the two groups about whether to continue exploring a partnership.

A staff report presented information on the impacts of changing Garner Street in Chemainus from a two-way operation to a one-way operation. It was recommended by staff the street remain a two-way operation, but council decided to refer the report to the Public Works Committee for a further discussion of options.

The meeting began with an exciting announcement from Director of Parks and Recreation Ernie Mansueti that the Cowichan Valley has been selected as a stop on the 2017-2018 Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour.

The tour will arrive on Saturday, January 20 and include activities and events for the whole family. In addition, a special live pre-game show will be hosted by Ron MacLean and Tara Slone prior to the Sunday, January 21 National Hockey League game between the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets.

Numerous bylaws were on the agenda, with council engaging in a lengthy discussion around a Zoning Amendment Bylaw for 6472 Paddle Rd. The bylaw was given third reading and proposes to rezone the property from residential rural (R1) to urban medium density (CD10) to facilitate a four-storey, 112-unit apartment building.

Amendments were made that will reduce the parking requirements to create space for a resident’s green space/amenity area. Council also recognized concerns about the current state of Paddle Road and the need for improvements.

The Fire Protection Bylaw passed third reading with a proposed effective date of January 1, 2018 and amendments made to the open burning time frames. It was proposed the fall open burning period be extended to Sept. 15-Nov. 30. This bylaw goes back on the agenda for final adoption at the Sept. 20 council meeting.

Council gave first and second reading to a zoning bylaw amendment that would allow an additional 2,282 attached secondary suites across the municipality on properties with the right zoning and of a certain size. A public hearing on this topic is scheduled for Oct. 4 and more information is available at

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