Nanaimo development at Green Thumb nursery passes public hearing

Nanaimo development at Green Thumb nursery passes public hearing

Nanaimo City Council altered its Official Community Plan Thursday night as the largest proposed development in Nanaimo’s north end moves forward.

The 42-acre site is poised to house 25-hundred residential units along with other community amenities.

It’s poised for the Green Thumb Nursery property in Nanaimo’s north end.

Nanaimo City Council approved a change to its Official Community Plan for the property to allow the Bowers District development to move ahead.

“It’s not a guarantee the development will go ahead as planned or as shown but it certainly I think represents a comprehensive community village approach to development that I think is very appealing to council,” said Leonard Krog, Nanaimo’s Mayor.

It’s pitched as a highly-walkable mixed-use village with shops, services and different housing options from single-detached homes to condos.

“It’s not every day that you get such a large in-fill site in a growing urban centre,” said Evan Peterson, a Principal of Barefoot Planning + Design.

The developer says with a parcel of land of this size it’s a chance to become a model for Nanaimo’s future.

“This is an opportunity to integrate transportation, sustainability features, landscaping, urban design, big parks all these different things into one and that’s very exciting,” said Peterson.

Not everyone is on board though. The Dover Community Association takes issues with the process, the density of what’s proposed and the lack of existing infrastructure.

“The traffic for Aulds road/Hammond Bay Road and the Old Island Highway is below standards today so looking ahead in the future if we add 2,400 residents to this area we don’t have adequate transportation,” said Bill Manners, a Director with the Dover Community Association

Last week Nanaimo City Council altered the Official Community Plan for the Sandstone Development in South Nanaimo that would see a similar amount of new homes and amenities. Nanaimo’s mayor says the housing the two large developments would bring is greatly needed.

“The only way you bring down pricing significantly is for governance to subsidize or the marketplace to oversupply and level-off the cost of housing. These are important steps to bring down or level off the cost of housing,” said Krog.

Council still needs to adopt the project’s master plans but if it does subsequent public input and Council approval will be sought through a future rezoning application for the lands.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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