If not for the resilience of Crofton residents, some things might never happen.
That’s certainly true in the case of the former Crofton Elementary School building. It took a concerted effort by citizens like Shannon Carlow, Lisa and Gabor Horvath, Dan Robin and others to move that process along so the building was eventually torn down.
It was sitting in a dilapidated state for more than a decade before perseverance finally paid off. The site had become a haven for druggies, vandals frequently setting small fires and slapping graffiti over a building that was already a considerable eyesore and a hang-out for nuisance activity that the community didn’t need.
The site sits empty now, but working through the various stages to involve the Municipality of North Cowichan, the Cowichan Valley School District and eventually the provincial government to get demolition funding was a long process. The next step, of course, will be securing a housing complex of some sort – rumoured to be a seniors development – to occupy that spot and beautify the landscape again.
Now here we are with the Twin Gables complex still in a deplorable state on a prime piece of waterfront property that could enhance the town immensely.
Dealing with this mess has now come before North Cowichan council again, thanks to the persistence of the Concerned Citizens of Crofton led by Jocelyn Anderson at the last council meeting via Zoom.
There are clearly issues with the people living there and where they might go, but all the buildings that make up Twin Gables are in no condition to be housing anyone. A fire in one of the units in early 2020 has only made a bad situation even worse.
The area is also still awaiting the BC Ferries redevelopment for the Crofton terminal which might impact Twin Gables, but it also needs to be dealt with on its own with swift and decisive action.
No one expects every lot in town to now contain luxury housing and exclusive shops, but this disaster area has to be cleaned up sooner rather than later. Crofton residents won’t sit back and wait for action any longer.