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Chemainus Artisan Village development approved

Chemainus’ Artisan Village development was greenlighted by North Cowichan council Wednesday — marking a first for the municipality.

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

Three bylaws were approved, paving the way 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,” Councillor George Seymour said, adding the most significant aspect is the commitment to affordable housing.

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

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

When the News Leader Pictorial 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.

Councillor 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 have 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.

Councillor Ruth Hartmann said she’s glad to see the development push forward.

“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.

Councillor 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.

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