Artisan Village gets green light

Chemainus’ Artisan Village was given the green light by North Cowichan council ­— marking a first for the municipality.

Artisan Village  gets green light

Chemainus’ Artisan Village was given the green light by North Cowichan council ­— marking a first for the municipality.

“This is the first time this municipality has done a housing agreement,” said Mark Ruttan, director of administration.

Three bylaws, No. 3425, 3426 and 3429, were adopted by council members at the Jan. 19 meeting for a 428-unit, mixed commercial and residential project close to downtown Chemainus on 33.5 acres of undeveloped land.

“It’s the biggest single development and a wonderful step ahead for Chemainus,” Coun. George Seymour said, adding the most significant aspect is the commitment to affordable housing.

The Artisan Village will be a mixed-use neighbourhood on 13.5 hectares of undeveloped land, featuring family housing, commercial spaces, senior housing and mixed-use housing.

“It really demonstrates the commitment to quality of life,” Seymour said.

When the Chronicle spoke to developer Chris Clement in June he said 10 per cent of the housing units will be provided for the purpose of affordable housing.

Coun. Al Siebring echoed Seymour’s points, adding a project like this helps facilitate affordable housing in the community.

Clement could not be reached before press time.

Seymour said the development is one to take pride in.

“Because the Artisan Village is close to the commercial core in Chemainus and has its own commercial core, I think it has many unique features to it,” he said.

Coun. Ruth Hartmann said she’s glad to see the development push on.

“In terms of development, this takes a lot of time and a lot of money and I’m glad it’s coming to fruition,” she said.

Coun. John Koury said the development fits in with what the community needs and wants.

“I think Chemainus’ time has come as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

“This will compliment the downtown revitalization in Chemainus and add more interest.”

The long-term project has a projected start date of spring of 2012 for the first phase; an 80-unit development on the north side.