Kim Didierserre and Julie McCarty are among the residents who live in the bungalows at 1946 Comox Ave. Many of them are concerned about a four-storey development that is being proposed for the property.
Photo by Troy Landreville/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio
COMOX, B.C. – Residents of what are commonly known as the ‘Comox Main Street Cabins’ say they’re fretting about their future, after receiving a notice of plans to develop the land that they live on.
Many of those who reside in the bungalows at 1946 Comox Ave. will be looking for answers on Friday during a public meeting with the developers at the d’Esterre House. The meeting will take place on Feb. 15 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Pro-Gress Construction Ltd., the owner of 1946 and 1950 Comox Ave., is proposing to build a four-storey, multi-family development on two parcels of land on the property, which for years has consisted of cabins and a larger, main house.
The Town of Comox requires the developer to consult with the neighbourhood before submitting plans for a development application to the town.
This is the first stage of the consultation. The next stage is an open house where the owners will report back any of the public comments, and address them in the design of the proposed development.
The project being in its infant stages is little comfort for some of the residents, including Kim Didierserre.
“I’m looking for protection for us,” Didierserre said. “In this economy, there are no rentals available. And even if there were rentals, they are rentals that are available for people who can hold down two or three jobs.”
Didierserre said all of the residents are low income, and many have physical and mental health issues.
One resident, who wished to stay anonymous, said he grew up in Comox and, “is one of the fortunate here that can do a bit of work.”
“I’m a veteran,” he added. “I have PTSD problems. This is a place where I can still be in my community, and I couldn’t get into the housing market. Now, I might not be able to live in my own hometown because I can’t afford it? And I actually work? Really? Thank you Comox. There are 41 of us with nowhere to go.”
Residents also say there are active blue heron nests all through the trees on the property, that are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Brenwin Developments consultant Steve Lindsay said if the project goes through, there won’t be anything physically happening with the property for at least a year and a half, adding that the developers are sensitive to the needs and concerns of the residents.
“We are definitely aware of the situation and that these (residents) are a lot less fortunate,” Lindsay said.
Written responses, including submissions by email, are being accepted up to Feb. 22.
The MyComoxValleyNow.com newsroom has reached out to Comox mayor Russ Arnott for comment.