View Royal residents have the opportunity to weigh in on a groundbreaking proposal that could clear the way for affordable housing in their community.
For the first time in its history, the Town of View Royal is considering an application to build not-for-profit rental apartments. The 152-unit project would be part of a 350-unit development on a 13-acre parcel of land on the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway that backs onto Thetis Lake Regional Park. Half of the proposed apartments are considered affordable rental, with rents considerably less than market rates.
The land, owned by Limona Group, was rezoned in 2017 for multi-family residential. The rezoning process resulted in 12 acres of parkland being transferred to the Town, with a commitment for sidewalks and improvements to Six Mile Road and West Park Lane to be completed in the future as well. The 152 not-for-profit units would be a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom apartments in the first phase of the development, with the understanding the remaining portion would consist of housing at market rates, said Lindsay Chase, director of development services for the Town of View Royal. The not-for profit portion would eventually be owned by the Capital Regional District Housing Corporation.
The Town is considering waiving about $926,000 in development cost charges for the project. DCCs are typically levied by municipalities on new developments to pay for infrastructure such as sewer, water, drainage, parks, roads and other services.
“Increasing the supply of affordable housing is an important regional issue,” Chase noted. “More than 35 per cent of people currently renting in View Royal pay 30 per cent or more of their income for rent. Housing availability for this project would be based on income. If we think of housing as a spectrum or continuum, this proposal falls in the middle of that. It is not proposed to be emergency sheltering or transitional housing.”
Providing a diversity of housing for all residents by increasing the supply of rental housing also frees up other suites and homes in the community and offers greater choice, Chase added.
Residents are invited to attend an open house on Tuesday, May 7 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall Council Chambers, 45 View Royal Ave. to offer input and learn more about the project. Hearing from the community is an important part of the process, Chase said. “We’re doing our best to facilitate that.”
For more information on the project, check out viewroyal.ca.