Jon Lefebure’s housing project on Willow Street has already progressed well beyond the way it looked here on Oct. 26. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Projects beautify some shoddy areas

But future development requires close examination on their impacts

There are many changes happening now that will shape the future of our communities.

Following the completion of the Crofton revitalization a few years back, the Chemainus revitalization plan is finally going full steam ahead with another phase with the improvement project for the Chemainus Road corridor.

This is a very important element since it serves as the main entrance into the tourist town. Not everyone agrees with all the components of the plan, which is to be expected, but everyone can certainly agree that changes are long overdue.

Impressions left by the shabby section of roadway with tourists have never been very positive. Sprucing it up will surely make a vast difference.

As construction work intensifies there, a big hole in downtown Chemainus continues to be plugged with the new library building and the overhaul of the former Chemainus Foods site into a public market. It’ll only be a few more months before both will be open to the public, marking a significant beautification along Willow Street.

The expansion of the Steeples assisted living facility that will add another three units is rapidly progressing and Jon Lefebure’s seven-unit multi-family building on Willow Street will create another housing option for those seeking that type of accommodation close to amenities.

On a larger scale, the Artisan Village development in Chemainus and the Commons at Osborne Bay in Crofton are ongoing and bringing an increase in population to the region over time.

Other such projects are surely in the works, but are going to require a more measured assessment. How much gets to be too much?

With water shortages, we can’t keep adding more people to further drain a diminishing resource.

The smaller, intimate density projects can always fill in the gaps and generate attractive replacements for older houses that need to be torn down.

But big projects that involve taking down more trees, eliminating valuable habitat or diminishing our scenic beauty have to be looked at very carefully. We don’t want to ever start looking like Langford. Or Colwood.

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