Ucluelet’s Lot 16 Marine Drive had a big win during the Nov. 9 regular council meeting.
A zoning amendment bylaw application was unanimously adopted and the design process for a three-storey rental apartment building is now officially underway. Lot 16, a 12.7 acre parcel of undeveloped property, was previously zoned for tourist commercial development. It is now zoned for a mix of housing, including a 48-unit long-term rental apartment building (phase one), single family lots, and townhouse units.
Vancouver Island realtor Cody Dreger is one of four Nanaimo-based family members who owns the parcel of land at Marine Drive and Matterson Drive, directly across from the Ucluelet Community Centre.
“We’re thankful council saw positivity in our development. We are excited to move forward. It was a longtime coming, but it is worth the wait,” said Dreger.
“We bought the property about nine years ago and we’ve been dealing with council for the last two. It took us a while to come up a plan for council to give the thumbs up. The big change was when we went to long-term rentals. The benefits are huge,” he said.
Next steps for Lot 16 involve finishing all the offsite upgrades to the sewer and water lines.
“That will happen in conjunction to the development permit application,” Dreger said, adding that they are working with Nanaimo architect Glenn Hill at dHKarchitects to come up with a building that is “as environmentally friendly as we can.”
Once the design is approved, construction of the new three-storey, one and two-bedroom apartment will go out for bidding to a Vancouver Island contractor. Moreover, discussions around allocating a certain number of apartment units to West Coasters are already underway.
“We want to try our best to go as local as possible. We want people that want to plant roots,” said Dreger. “At the end of the day it will be market rent. We are also looking at Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation affordable housing, below market rents. It would be a good thing for both sides. It allows us to get a very attractive rate on long-term.”
Dreger told the Westerly his four daughters are also very excited about Lot 16 Marine Drive.
“I told them we are going to be moving forward building a home there. I love Ucluelet. I love turning left at the junction. I love fishing. I love the trail all that stuff,” he said.