Opinion

Sherman Road wrong spot for housing

Affordable housing at what cost? Agreed, there is a need, but what is the best plan?

The Curling Club on Sherman Road near Berkey’s Corner is busy hosting events such as the Scotties Provincial Women’s Curling Championship.

The community recreational facility is now owned by North Cowichan, which is looking for ‘free’ land to commit to housing. This will compromise the parking lot for events bringing economic activity to the area, for a housing project to be built fronting Sherman Road and behind on the much-needed parking space.

A project with Community Land Trust plans 64 units in four buildings, three three-storey, 28 unit, townhomes with parking spaces and one four-storey apartment building with 4,000 square feet of office space on the main floor and 36 total units, 12 units to accommodate Cowichan Women Against Violence, which also require parking spaces and access.

All this in a tight space with neighbourhood parking a negative issue for years. Cowichan Soccer Association hosts events, North Cowichan built a taxpayer shared $1.4 million artificial turf field to increase field use. The Sikh temple across Sherman Road shares the paved parking lot with the Curling Club for events that often require additional parking. This congested density will make a busy arterial road busier, accessibility more difficult. Parking is necessary for community events to function.

Sixty-four units could house 150 residents, according to a municipal planner at a Jan. 25 public meeting. Vehicle emissions in a tight space, ice making machine running noisily outside, view of the back of a curling club and overlooking high density housing on Gilana Avenue with its parking congestion. What about using the municipal land at the 20-acre partial gravel pit up from Berkey’s Corner on Cowichan Lake Road, built in phases?

 

Sarge Bawa

North Cowichan

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