Tofino welcome sign. (Westerly file photo)

Housing proposal highlights capacity concerns in Tofino

Water supply, school and hospital all cited as council urges caution in growth.

Tofino’s municipal council unanimously agreed to give their staff permission to proceed with a development application last week that would bring a roughly 100-unit neighbourhood to Tofino, though several councillors used the word ‘tentative’ to describe their vote.

Woodsmere Holdings Corporation is proposing a four-storey apartment building with an expected 50-54 units and 24 single family lots, each zoned for secondary suites at 825 Campbell Street.

The proposal is significantly smaller than the company’s original proposal for the site, which included 240 apartment units, 108 townhouses, 34 duplexes, 16 stand-alone single family homes and a 48-unit motel, that council denied in 2017.

“This zoning amendment would facilitate the creation of basically a new residential neighbourhood,” Tofino’s planner 1 Peter Thicke explained during Oct. 13’s regular council meeting. “So it’s a fairly significant consideration that would provide a lot of housing, but would also significantly increase the density of the area.”

READ MORE: Tofino turns down massive housing proposal

He said the project would also potentially fill a gap identified in Tofino’s housing needs assessment around home ownership.

“One of the things that this particular development may address, which does not come up too often here in Tofino, is home ownership units at the lower end of the market. Particularly the smaller single family dwelling lots would be designed to be more affordable than many of the existing options on the market,” he said.

He said the site would need to be landscaped and facilitate multiple modes of transportation, including an expansion of a pedestrian network, so that residents of the new neighbourhood would not need to “get in a car every single time they want to leave their house.”

READ MORE: VIDEO: Tsunami siren testing sounds off in Tofino

Tofino’s director of infrastructure Fraser Work said staff is trying to get a handle on its water supply capacity and added that water infrastructure will be a key topic at the district’s upcoming budget discussions

“I think the essential question that we need to answer as a municipality is are we at, near or beyond our capacity to provide safe drinking water and firefighting flows within the community,” Work said.

Councillor Duncan McMaster raised concern around how long such a study would take, noting that several developments would be left in the lurch while the district tries to sort out how much capacity it has.

“These developments are coming at us fast and furious and I think we need to have an answer sooner than later,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: Tofino council approves controversial rezoning that paves way for affordable housing project

READ MORE: Tofino again rejects massive development proposal from Woodsmere

READ MORE: Tofino housing project criticized at public hearing


Just Posted

A Nanaimo driver was sentenced Monday for fatally striking a high school student with his vehicle in 2019. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo driver sentenced after motor vehicle incident that killed teen last year

Brandon Geoffrey Murdoch fined and prohibited from driving for two years

Nikita, a four-year-old German Shepherd that was attacked by a buck in a backyard in Esquimalt Sunday is lucky the injury wasn't more severe. (Photo contributed by Suzette Goldsworthy)
Esquimalt dog owner issues alert after deer injures German shepherd

Nikita needed stitches after an early morning encounter

Windy conditions in Nanaimo’s Lost Lake area. (News Bulletin file photo)
Wind warning issued for the east coast of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada says people ‘should be on the lookout’ for adverse weather conditions

Volunteers gather at Third Avenue and Mar Street on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 to walk the streets of Uptown Port Alberni searching for people sleeping in alleys to hand out food and Naloxone kits. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni tent city evicted again

Campers took over gazebo at Roger Creek Park

A deer pokes through the gardens at Beacon Hill Park. The Royal BC Museum. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Esquimalt mayor repeats call for regional approach to urban deer management

Province waiting on Oak Bay results, Desjardins says cost of duplicating process ‘considerable’

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Construction has started on a new apartment complex at 1025 Ryan Rd. in Courtenay. Scott Stanfield photo
Courtenay apartment to contain 118 units

Construction underway on complex featuring rent-capped units

Aerial shot of a section of the Hartland landfill in Saanich. First Nations company KENES Transportation will be trucking biosolids from the residuals treatment facility at Hartland to the Lafarge Canada cement plant in Richmond (YouTube/Capital Regional District)
CRD, First Nations sign contract to haul biosolids to Mainland cement plant

Deal ‘hits the triple bottom line of positive social, environmental and financial impact,’ says CRD

Those looking for shelter at Warmland House may soon find that option limited as Warmland cuts capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Warmland House in Duncan cutting back on shelter beds due to COVID

Decision a safety precaution during pandemic

Product Care offers more than <a href="" target="_blank">150 free drop-off locations</a> in B.C. (
Recycling broken or burnt string lights can reduce holiday landfill waste

In 2019, Product Care Recycling diverted more than 11.6 million light bulbs from landfills

Most Read