Parksville approves development permit for affordable housing units on Alberni Highway

Daryoush Firouzli Architecture Inc. drawing
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More affordable housing units are coming to Parksville after council approved a permit for an 87-unit development next to the new Quality Foods on the Alberni Highway.

It will consist of a four-story apartment building and eight townhouses according to Andrea Blakeman, chief executive officer of Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society (NAHS), which will operate the buildings once completed.

Eighteen of the units will have prescribed rates by the province — $375 per month for a one-bedroom, $570 for a two-bedroom and $660 for a three-bedroom unit. 

The remainder of the units are tied to tenant income and will vary from person to person. Every tenant will meet with NAHS for annual income reviews, Blakeman said.

“When you look at those numbers that’s really something that’s going to work for a lot of people,” said Coun. Mark Chandler.

Council deferred a recommendation to grant the development permit at its last meeting because of concerns, including lack of green space, balconies and a high number of one bedroom units.

Blakeman told council it is common for single parents to live in single bedroom units with a child who lives with them part-time. She said the development is targeted at families, people with disabilities and independent low to moderate income seniors. There is no age restriction, Blakeman said, the building is designed so people can age in place. 

Coun. Teresa Patterson said the pandemic has kept people restricted to their homes and she was concerned the development will not provide enough space for people in the future. There is a 60 year covenant agreement, which means the buildings must remain affordable housing units.

The development will include 1.3 acres of green space that will not be built on, said Daryoush Firouzli of Daryoush Firouzli Architecture Inc. “They have almost their own private park,” he added. Council voted unanimously to have staff issue a development permit.

Blakeman said, in an email to Oceanside News, construction would begin later this spring, depending on how soon the permit is issued.

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