Developers want the city to put money towards aging sewer infrastructure in the Jubilee Heights area.
Couverdon told city council at council’s Monday meeting that the existing sewer system is a “major impediment” to the development of a subdivision in the area in and around Erickson, Harrogate and Larwood roads.
Ross McKeever and Jason Carvalho of Couverdon Real Estate/TimberWest told council that the “DCC (development cost charges) eligible infrastructure upgrade stands in the way as a major impediment to the realization of a sustainable community for Jubilee Heights and the surrounding neighbourhood in the South Dogwood/Airport area.”
Jubilee Heights is slated for development on the corner of Jubilee Parkway and South Dogwood Street.
The area encompasses 161 acres and for the past 20 years has been the focus of significant future development.
A letter from the city, dated Jan. 19, 2016 provided Couverdon with five options for addressing sewer deficiencies. Couverdon said four of them have “the landowners absorbing all or the majority of the projected $2.7 million cost of this sewer upgrade.”
Couverdon said it’s requesting the city follow through on the fifth option it provided – a city capital project where market demand drives the priority in council’s decision making.
“We believe, as you do, that there is sufficient ‘market demand’ and that Jubilee Heights is a high priority for the city if there is to be a consistent source of well positioned, affordable single family lots in the Willow Point Jubilee area,” wrote McKeever. “Jubilee Heights is essential if the city wants to maintain a competitive market position with the Willow Point and Jubilee area, the city’s most desirable neighbourhood.”
McKeever said Jubilee Heights has several positive attributes that will make it attractive to home buyers. He noted that the area is close to the airport and arterial roads like the Island Highway, Dogwood and Alder. It’s also where a significant proportion of the city’s population is moving. According to a consultant’s report prepared for the city in 2015, between 2010 and 2015, 49 per cent of all residential construction occurred in the Willow Point area.
Development plans for Jubilee Heights include a mix of single and multi-family housing units, as well as a new fire hall and a school and playfield.
“Jubilee Heights is anticipated to bring 350 new single family lots to the community of Campbell River,” McKeever said, but added the city’s sewer infrastructure needs to be upgraded in order to handle additional users brought onto the system. “The Jubilee Heights development is reliant on that upgrade. We’re receiving various interests from various parties to get it moving ahead. We need the proper infrastructure to receive Jubilee Heights and add that supply and amenities to the community.”
Mayor Andy Adams said “there is mutual interest to find a way forward.”
He questioned whether Couverdon could start the development if sewer upgrades are another year or two down the road.
McKeever said because it’s expected to take 12 to 15 years to complete the entire development, some density on a single family basis could be built up.
Council thanked McKeever and Carvalho for their presentation and later in the meeting went in-camera, which is closed to media and the public, to further discuss Couverdon’s request.