COURTENAY, B.C- Another apartment building could be coming to Braidwood Road.

On Monday evening, Courtenay city council had their first look at a proposal from Veyron Properties to build a 79-unit, five story apartment building at 911 Braidwood Road, a site currently vacant.

The location is close to the shopping centres at the bottom of Ryan Road, and the proposal included an emergency access route to the building’s proposed parking lot via Sandwick Road.

The units would be meant for the rental market, with the developer intending to keep them as dedicated rentals for the first 10 years of the building’s use.

“Since Braidwood Road does not go through to the Old Island Highway and in case of an emergency, there are still significant benefits of securing an emergency access connecting between Braidwood and Sandwick Roads,” read the city report on the proposal.

“Through discussion with the applicant, it is agreed that an emergency access route designed to the City’s specification will be constructed by the developer through the proposed parking lot. This provision will be registered secured through registration of a statutory right of way.”

During discussion of the proposal, council debated the possibility of an agreement with the developer to ensure a number of units would be dedicated to low-income tenants. However, after a speaker for the developer informed them this would delay the building coming on the market, they decided against making it a requirement.

Councillor Bob Wells said the apartments were “desperately needed” for the local market.

“We certainly have a housing crisis here, so we’re thinking forward to getting some more inventory on the market,” said Wells.

“It (the requirement) looked like it was going to delay it potentially two months, and it’s a bit of an unknown. It could be two months, it could be longer. Rather than delaying this project, we thought let’s get it going.”

The proposal still needs to go through the rest of the permit process and will be returning to the council chamber on August 7 for a public hearing.