I almost fell out of my chair when I opened the Chemainus Valley Courier website and saw that Salt Spring Island resident Robyn Kelln and some Lower Mainland investors were going to revisit 9090 Trans Canada Highway as a possible 108-site modular home development. I thought this idea was put to bed 12 years ago when developer Mike Kelly abandoned the project.
Here is a little background to the story. Forty odd years ago this property was zoned for this type of development when there was little traffic on the two-lane TCH which forms the eastern boundary. Environmental concerns were not front and centre.
As I am sure you know today, the now four-lane TCH handles an incredible volume of traffic and therefore an incredible amount of noise is created. Bordering the opposite west side of 9090 TCH is Compton Creek and fragile wetlands which lead to the endangered Chemainus River. These would be greatly impacted with development.
This in a nutshell is why no one has developed this property: poor location and too environmentally sensitive. The modular home sites would be less than 15 meters from the TCH. The fragile creek and its wetlands need 30 metre setbacks but only 15 metres is planned.
I don’t think this site would see the light of day if we were not in this COVID bubble. I think when this real estate bubble bursts this poorly planned development site will be one of the first to be abandoned.
North Cowichan has quality sites such as the old Chemainus Elementary School site and the ex-Artisans Village. I think you or I would choose these latter sites and not one on the TCH at a location where the speed limit is 90 kilometres per hour.
We have an Official Community Plan which councillors and planning have spent hundreds of hours and thousands of taxpayers dollars to create. Let’s stick with the OCP and create quality housing.