Town should pass proposed development for the J.H. Boyd property

Quiz –What does Lake Cowichan have more of than any other Cowichan community?

Editor and members of council: Quiz –What does Lake Cowichan have more of than any other Cowichan community?

Answer – Empty buildings! At last count, there are 17 in the downtown area alone. And now that council has once again refused to allow seniors housing at the old J.H. Boyd school site, we can add one more!

[Editor’s note: The last proposal to go before council took place in October of last year. It included 28 affordable housing lots, of which one was a proposed two-acre gift to “a local seniors’ society, where they would have the ability to build up to a 50 unit seniors care facility,” property owner John Kelly wrote in a letter to the Gazette, at the time. The proposal was denied due to a road requirement for Oak Lane to be built to local highway size.]

I really fail to see the logic of this decision. Does anyone really believe that this school will ever be re-opened?

Are there people lining up to develop some sort of alternative educational use for it?

[Editor’s note: As per the town’s current bylaws, P-1 zoned property allows for not only schools, but the following permitted  uses: Church; civic use, including transportation station; park, playground, sports field; post office; municipal campground, public recreation use; public utility, public storage and works yard; affordable seniors, rental, and special needs housing.]

Does Lake Cowichan have something against seniors? After all, they are people who pay taxes, shop locally, use local services, and generally volunteer a lot.

For a town that is rapidly slipping towards ghost status, this seems like a no-brainer.

Lake Cowichan has a lot to offer in the way of retirement living, and encouraging seniors to settle here could be a big financial boost for local businesses; many of whom are suffering badly.

So far, the only argument against this seniors living complex is that the site is zoned for educational use.

Surely zoning can be changed?

The other argument given in the paper was that the present owner knew about the zoning when he bought it.

This sounds like sour grapes.

After all, here is someone who is willing to invest real money into a plan that will boost the local economy. I realize if was sad to lose a school, but the argument about this was with School Board 79, and it’s too late to save it now!

I urge town council to reconsider this decision, and I urge Lake Cowichan citizens who want to do something to slow the decline of this town to contact the council in support of a seniors housing complex.

Thank you for your attention.

Judith Quinlan

Lake Cowichan Therapy