I read with great interest that there is “vociferous” opposition to a heritage style triplex at the corner of Fifth and Menzies in Courtenay.
It seems that renters are viewed as noisy and cause hassle. I was a renter once and now I am an owner, but I don’t think I make less noise now or cause less hassle. It is unfair to paint all renters with the same brush or deny reasonable housing to those wishing to rent or buy smaller or less expensive accommodations.
Moreover, I like to think I live in one of the most naturally blessed communities in the world and one of the ways we can preserve it, while welcoming those wishing to join us, is to increase density in our cores to minimize the paving of our surroundings.
Also, I wonder if having more people close to our town centers could increase economic trade in those areas? I live just three blocks further than Menzies from Downtown Courtenay and I do 90% of my shopping Downtown because it’s close. I imagine this would be of great interest to the Downtown Business Improvement Association and it’s merchants.
Could more well priced housing benefit all of us?
Having just moved away from the Comox Valley to downtown Vancouver where almost everyone is a renter, to make the assumption that renters cause more hassles than home owners is absurd. In light of the present cost of living, renting is the only option for many people.
From my observations as a city resident, I would suggest that the majority of small, street level businesses in the downtown area are supported by the density, since it’s easy to walk and bike to. I see 100’s of people out walking and biking daily – it’s vibrant. The bicycle counter at Science World display 4600 bikes one afternoon as we cycled by. New developments here are all mixed use; retail on the street level with apartments above. If I were looking to open a bricks and mortar, I would definitely find 50-200 apartments above me to be desirable – I’m only an elevator ride away from them! It’s common to see this “shophouse” structure in urban developments around the world (I’ve seen it in Paris, Hanoi, Hong Kong for example).
I think the walkability score of high density living here is at least 95%? And that’s good for businesses in the area. It also means less cars, less traffic jams, and more community interaction at a personal level.
I actually sold my car when I moved here. I walk, bike and use the bus daily. I shop locally and support all the businesses within a 15 minute walk radius. I’m guessing on average, I walk 15min-60min daily (combined) because I live in density compared to less than 15min/day when I lived in rural Comox Valley. So I like that I am also getting more exercise!
Hi Anh, thank you for your experiences and insight into densification. Building a vibrant and diverse economy is key to attracting young people, young families, and small businesses alike to Courtenay.