Rezoning referrals marching along

The Islands Trust has sent out our rezoning request to be reviewed by a number of agencies, about 30 different agencies (APC, CRD commissions, Provincial agencies, etc), plus 14 First Nations groups.  This gives all these agencies a chance to give their input.  Unfortunately, all these referrals take time.  We have heard back from some of them and so far there have been no concerns from any agency.

Islands Trust agency referrals

Approved by the APC

Our rezoning proposal was first on the agenda at the latest APC (Advisory Planning Commission) meeting last Thursday, October 19th.  This is one of the many referrals from the Islands Trust to other agencies.  A number of the Dragonfly Commons committee and our Islands Trust planner Rob Milne attended the meeting.  Rob presented his report and Fernando gave a short description of the project.  There were a number of good questions from the group allowing clarification.  There are a number of people on the APC with a variety of backgrounds – design, planning, environment, etc.  There were many positive comments and they voted unanimously to recommend our project to the LTC.

First Reading of our rezoning bylaw passed

As reported by the Driftwood on Wednesday Oct 11, 2017:

The Salt Spring Local Trust Committee made steps toward meeting the island’s affordable housing needs by moving three project applications forward at Thursday’s business meeting. 

The LTC started its run at advancing nearly 100 new units by giving first reading to a rezoning application for Tami and Fernando dos Santos’ Dragonfly Commons development on Drake Road, which proposes 20 low-cost micro homes that eligible people employed in the community could purchase.

“This initiative has my unqualified support,” said trustee George Grams. “We know housing is perhaps our most pressing issue at the moment. I thank you for bringing this forward and making this opportunity possible for the community.”

Link to the Driftwood article online

We would like to also congratulate our fellow affordable housing projects on their first readings – Croftonbrook and Salt Spring Commons.


Riparian Area Report approved

We have passed another milestone – the hydrological engineer submitted his Riparian Area Report to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRO) with a site design plan to protect the area around the pond and the ravine – and it has been approved by the Ministry:   “The Ministry hereby provides notice that this report meets the assessment and reporting criteria for the Riparian Areas Regulation.”  We can now proceed with the site plan as designed for 30 homes and a community building.  Check out the timeline page for more progress and upcoming events.


Discussion with home builder

We have been in discussions with a number of potential builders of manufactured homes, modular homes and SIP (structural insulated) panel construction.  After weighing the pros and cons, we have decided the SIP panel method will be the best for our project.  It provides many advantages:   design versatility (including the ability to add lofts), easier delivery, quick assembly of the structure, cost-effective, long-lasting, and the SIP panels are environmentally friendly.

One of the companies that we are currently working with is VersaMod Designs Inc.   Chris Pedersen and Rick have a lot of experience building affordable small homes – including for workforce housing, temporary housing and emergency shelters.  We are also working with Kerry and Donna from  Korolite Engineered Panel Structures Ltd., who are providing the SIP panels.  Korolite is a subsidiary of a larger company Mansonville Plastics, with a large manufacturing facility in Surrey, BC.

The SIPs are a sandwich of metal with built-in EPS insulation (expanded polystyrene), which is an environmentally friendly (no CFCs) & recyclable material.  SIPs are shipped flat, then the structure is assembled.  The walls, floor and roof are all SIPs.  These panels retain their R value over time, unlike walls with fiberglass insulation.  Mansonville Plastics is a recycling depot for EPS;  they manufacture a number of other interesting products such as the growing containers for the reforestation industry.  Korolite is a member of the Canada Green Building Council.

Preliminary home designs are forthcoming and, once available, will be posted on the website.


The all-clear

We had a 16-page Archaeological Assessment Report done by Chris Arnett, PhD in August, 2017 and after a thorough examination of the whole property including the ravine, he concluded that “no items of archaeological significance were identified on Lot A, Section 20″.  


A major milestone!

We have had a number of productive meetings with our Islands Trust planner Rob Milne in the past couple of months.

During this time we have been working hard to provide all of the necessary information for Rob to be able to write his report and to present our project to the Local Trust Committee.


We have accomplished a lot in the past year and we have at least partially addressed all of the major aspects so as to prove the feasibility of the project:

B.         All rezoning applications for affordable housing projects should include evidence of:

  1. need for the housing.
  2. an adequate water supply for potability and for fire protection.
  3. means of sewage disposal.
  4. energy and water efficient building design.
  5. not degrading a sensitive ecosystem.
  6. not being sited in an area subject to hazardous conditions.

On July 20th we appeared before the Local Trust Committee with our Islands Trust planner Rob Milne.  In his Staff Report he showed that we have addressed all the major aspects and his recommendation was:

That the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee directs staff to prepare draft bylaws for the review and consideration of the Local Trust Committee.

The LTC (Peter Grove, George Grams and Peter Luckham) wholeheartedly supported the recommendation and voted to direct staff to prepare the draft bylaw.  Peter noted that our communication with the trustees along the way has been very good and that he had no questions for us.  George remarked that he agreed and that he would “like to see it move on apace”.

We have passed a major milestone!

Read the Staff Report 20-July-2017


Criteria crafted

We had an excellent meeting on July 10th with our committee, including an invited guest, to discuss and refine our criteria for potential Dragonfly Commons purchasers.  We are focusing on creating an affordable neighbourhood for a diverse community of working people on Salt Spring with a range from low to middle-income levels.  To that end, please see the “Who is the Project For?” page for more details.