Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells says the city is opening the door for more supportive housing.

Reflecting on the year that was, Wells said what really stands out to him is the different types of housing the city was able to bring into the community.

“Affordable housing, supportive housing through Braidwood, through The Junction, and also some of the other things that were done in terms of Habitat for Humanity, and things at Maple Pool (and) Dawn to Dawn, so those kinds of things were important and really sets the stage for where our council wants to go,” he said. 

Wells also pointed out that there are more apartments coming to the valley, then there have been in decades.

“It’s critical housing that’s needed and we have, now, developers coming forward with these plans to do that. We also have more seniors care facilities coming online and so those kinds of things are really addressing a need that we have,” he said. 

“I think as a council we try to create an environment and we try to signal what is needed and what is going to make our community better, and I think developers are responding to that in a really positive way.”

Meanwhile, Wells said selecting a firm location for a future organics program will bode well from an environmental standpoint. 

“I think it’s probably the biggest single thing that we can do in the short term,” he said. 

And looking long term, Wells said the city has a plan – actually a number of them.

“There’s really looking at having those master plans: so we have our transportation master plan, our parks and rec master plan and of course we’re moving forward with our OCP, our official city plan,” Wells said. 

“And it really comes down to planning, knowing what we are going to have to do over the next five to 20 years and actually start preparing for those things.” 

However, Wells said an example of not planning ahead is the 5th Street Bridge.

“We have this massive cost in front of us but because it wasn’t planned for properly and it wasn’t budgeted for, and there wasn’t reserves put aside for it, we now have this huge thing that we have to pay for,” he said.

“I think by getting everything aligned and actually planning for it, that’s going to make it a lot more predictable and a lot more affordable for our community moving forward.”