3L Developments is back, and again asking to amend the Regional Growth Strategy

3L Developments is back, and again asking to amend the Regional Growth Strategy

Photo Caption

3L Developments is back, and again asking to amend the Regional Growth Strategy

By George Le Masurier

The 3L Development company is once again seeking to amend the Regional Growth Strategy.

3L Developments, an ownership group led by founder Dave Dutcyvich, has tried for 13 years to develop nearly 1,000 homes on its 500-plus acres situated between Browns River to the north and the Puntledge River to the south. The Inland Island Highway borders the property to the west.

The CVRD has denied 3L’s past requests for development permits because the site doesn’t fit into the CVRD’s Regional Growth Strategy (RGS), which only recognizes three areas as settlement nodes for growth outside of municipal boundaries, the Saratoga area, Mt. Washington and Union Bay.

The CVRD’s denials have triggered a series of confrontations with the CVRD staff and at least one director and triggered multiple legal actions against the regional district. Its proposals have incited community protests and, in response, the company has shut off access to the popular Stotan Falls recreational area.

As a result, the regional district last year realigned its policies with all other British Columbia regional districts to consider RGS amendments only when they are proposed by a government body.

But although private landowners can no longer propose Comox Valley RGS amendments, government bodies, such as the Electoral Services Committee (EASC), can do so on behalf of a private landowner.

This week, 3L representative Rob Buchan asked the Electoral Services Committee to support an amendment to the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) and refer it to the full CVRD board that would clear the way for a revised version of their development plan, called Riverwood.

The Electoral Services Committee comprises directors for electoral areas A, B and C.

A long discussion at the EASC on June 15 culminated in a motion by Area B Director Arzeena Hamir, and seconded by Area A Director Daniel Arbour, to deny the application.

But this motion failed (only Hamir voted to deny the application) after Area C Director Edwin Grieve implored his colleagues to consider a long-term vision and move the application forward by seeking input from other agencies and First Nations.

Arbour then moved and Hamir seconded a successful motion to ask appropriate agencies, including fire departments, to provide feedback on the new 3L application.

This motion passed unanimously.



Speaking for Dutcyvich, new 3L representative Buchan said the discussion over Riverwood has gone on over a decade and that his mission is to find a solution that ensures “public access and preserves the land.”

“The reality of where the owner (Dutcyvich) is at,” Buchan said, “is that he will liquidate his economic interest whatever way he can, which would make it more difficult to acquire the greenways in the future.”

Buchan said the assemblage of five separate land titles under one ownership is currently an advantage for the regional district to deal with this issue given the public’s interest in acquiring the land for parks, greenways and access to Stotan Falls.

“If this (3L’s current application for an RGS amendment) doesn’t go through, that will be more difficult to achieve,” he said. “It won’t be nearly as easy in the future.”

Director Hamir said the substance of the application didn’t “tick the boxes” for her to fully consider how the new Riverwood plan would meet the requirements of the Regional Growth Strategy.

Director Arbour initially said he would vote for Hamir’s motion to deny the application. But later, in deference to Area C Director Edwin Grieve, where Riverwood is located, changed his mind.

“But from what I saw today, we must first do a good job of meeting the goals of the Regional Growth Strategy before opening these settlement nodes.”

And Arbour took exception to a suggestion that his or other directors’ vote might be based on ownership or a possible sale.

“My vote would not be influenced by who owns a property because at the end of the day we’re talking about the Regional Growth Strategy,” he said. “That argument rings shallow for me.”

Director Grieve, who chairs the EASC, said Dutcyvich has invested a lot of time on the Riverwood project and suggested that he was at the point of wanting it resolved.

Grieve asked Arbour and Hamir to refer the application to other agencies and keep the process moving forward.

“If the proponents (3L) have the patience to move at the speed of government, which is moving even slower now during this pandemic, then we should put it out for feedback,” he said.



The three electoral area directors eventually chose to consider the 3L application, rather than outright denying it. They will refer it to a list of agencies that includes the K’omoks First Nation and two other First Nations, provincial agencies, local governments, the school district and two public advisory groups.

The Electoral Services Committee will then consider the feedback from those entities, comment on the new information and decide how to proceed.

The committee could ultimately refer the application to the full CVRD board, which would, in turn, consider whether to initiate a Regional Growth Strategy amendment process.

Or, the committee could deny the amendment application and close the file.



3L Developments has revised its original plan to develop their Riverwood lands. They now want to develop 780 housing units (335 single detached units each with provision for a secondary suite, 54 townhouse units and 56 multi-family units), 1,400 square meters of neighbourhood commercial floor area, 97 hectares of open space or parkland and a 10-acre parcel for K’omoks First Nation.

The new proposal triggers the need for an amendment to the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) because the properties are regulated by two Official Community Plans and designated by both as Rural Area and Rural Settlement Area/Settlement Expansion, respectively.

3L Developments Inc. is proposing to repeal the existing OCP designation on a portion of the lands and to amend the OCP designation on the remaining lands to a Settlement Node and Rural Settlement Area designation. This requires an RGS amendment.
CVRD staff recommended the EASC refer the applications to external agencies and First Nations for comment and detailed feedback and create an opportunity to acquire any additional information.



3L Developments first proposed a new, self-contained community that they named Riverwood on 500-plus acres between the Browns and Puntledge rivers in 2007.

The CVRD rejected that first application at a time when the district was developing the Regional Growth Strategy. In subsequent legal action started by 3L, the CVRD was later told by the BC Supreme Court to give the proposal fuller consideration.

After reconsidering the 3L application in 2018 by what’s called the ‘standard process’ — which takes longer and gathers more feedback from a wider array of affected parties than the ‘expedited process’ — the CVRD board voted in 2018 to again deny 3L’s application. 3L then started another legal action to have that decision overturned by the courts, but it was unsuccessful.

At that time, the CVRD was the only regional district in the province to allow developers or other private parties to apply for RGS amendments. In all other regional districts, only another government entity could apply to amend the RGS.

In 2018, the CVRD amended its Regional Growth Strategy to match other districts in the amendment proposal process.

The revised RGS now states that amendments can be proposed by a member municipality, the Electoral Services Committee or the full CVRD board, and they can do so on behalf of an external agency or a landowner.


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More Government | Latest Feature | Politics

City CAO David Allen focuses on sustainable asset management

Courtenay Chief Administration Officer David Allen was part of a small group in 2008 that developed this system for managing public assets that provides for service and financial sustainability. It is now used by almost every municipality in British Columbia.

With much drama, CVRD denies 3L Developments

With tension thick in the boardroom, with accusations of lies and corruption, slander flying back and forth, and despite 3L Developments’ last-minute tactic through Mano Theos to salvage their Riverwood subdivision, the application to amend the Regional Growth Strategy failed on a 6-4 vote

Courtenay mayor fails to assuage Airpark closure fears

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CVRD commission takes “historic” step toward Comox Valley-wide wastewater system

CVRD commission takes “historic” step toward Comox Valley-wide wastewater system

The Union Bay community rests on the verge of a major development explosion  |  George Le Masurier photo

CVRD commission takes “historic” step toward Comox Valley-wide wastewater system

By George Le Masurier

As the Comox Valley closes in on selecting a new overland route for conveying Courtenay and Comox wastewater to the treatment plant in Cape Lazo, and potentially upgrading the level of treatment it receives there, elected officials are also considering a first step toward using existing infrastructure for a more inclusive community-wide sewerage system.

The Comox Valley Regional District is currently in the final stages of developing a new, long-term Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP) for the existing infrastructure that will provide important ecological and financial benefits.

But at present that infrastructure only serves a portion of the Comox Valley.

New Liquid Waste Management Plan process to restart this summer

Despite its misnomer, the Comox Valley Sewage Commission that governs the Comox Valley Water Pollution Control Centre — commonly known as the Brent Road treatment plant — and the infrastructure to convey it there, only serves households in Courtenay, Comox, K’omoks First Nation and CFB Comox.

It is not a Valley-wide service.

Approximately a third of Comox Valley households rely on private, individual septic systems, which vary in age and effectiveness.

Over the next several decades, Union Bay Estates plans to develop nearly 3,000 new homes in a project already underway

In fast-growing areas, such as Union Bay — one of four designated settlement nodes in the Regional Growth Strategy — and Royston, areas where sewage and other wastewater is currently handled by septic systems, there is a compelling need to provide better and more reliable wastewater treatment.

Many of these private septic systems are old and some are failing. Homeowners can spend $30,000 or more to replace a poor system, so it’s often put off as long as possible.

But systems that are not functioning properly have the potential to pollute. Previous CVRD studies have shown that failing septic systems in Royston and Union Bay have contributed to fecal coliform contamination of Baynes Sound.

But now a new plan to be led by Darry Monteith, the CVRD’s Manager of Liquid Waste Planning in its Engineering Services branch, would shut down those private septic systems over time by connecting households to the existing Courtenay-Comox infrastructure.

The possibility of this new approach was made possible when Courtenay and Comox sewage commissioners reversed historical thinking to entertain the possibility of opening their closed-system to other areas of the Comox Valley.

Many, including Electoral Area A Director Daniel Arbour, see the decision as a historical moment.

Union Bay opens new water treatment plant

“This is a significant milestone for the sewage commission and the Regional Growth Strategy,” Arbour told Decafnation. “It’s a big step toward a Comox Valley-wide solution. Moving from septic systems to a community system feels momentous.”

Arbour said the important aspect of the decision is that the framework is now in place for connecting the Royston and Union Bay area to the sewerage system “so that if grants are available and the cost per household is reasonable, this proposal has a chance to be successful.”

Sewage commission Chair David Frisch, a Courtenay City councillor, told Decafnation that this new approach would be “a step toward Valley-wide collaboration in local government, an opportunity for Area A residents to benefit from sewer collection and treatment, a way to ensure sewer doesn’t leach into Baynes Sound and a partnership with KFN to support reconciliation and First Nation Rights.”



Since at least 2006, Island Health has consistently recommended a community sewerage system for the Royston-Union Bay area due to poor septic system performance and the number of complaints received.

A 2015 study by Payne Engineering Geology conducted after a dry winter found that up to 50 percent of the areas’ septic systems were failing, particularly in the Union Bay community. And the study suggested the rate would be higher during wet winter months.

By comparison, an earlier study by the same engineers found zero failures of private systems in the Cape Lazo area.

The large reservoir tank at the new Union Bay-Langley Lake water treatment plant on Mcleod Road that will improve access to drinking water and enable future developments.

The Payne study identified six main reasons that septic systems were failing:

1) small lots, many less than 2000 square metres;
2) a shallow winter water table, shallower than 45 cm (18 inches) in some areas;
3) inappropriate designs including, in some cases, drain field trenches set deeper than the water table;
4) undersized septic tanks and drain fields;
5) lack of maintenance; and,
6) ageing systems in need of repair or upgrade (some systems are about 50 years old).

Over the last 18 years, the CVRD has put forward three previous proposals to resolve these problems. All of them have failed over financial issues. And all of them would have created new infrastructure exclusive to the South Courtenay area, essentially creating two independent sewerage systems in the Comox Valley.

In 2002, residents rejected a plan they deemed too costly. In 2006, residents passed a referendum to construct a new system, but that initiative collapsed when necessary grant funding didn’t come through. In 2016, residents again rejected a South Sewer Project proposal because it was too expensive.



It took three failed attempts, but the reality finally became clear: a stand-alone system for CVRD’s most southern communities was neither feasible or viable. New thinking was needed.

In early 2018, the South Sewer Select Committee, comprising electoral area A and C directors and K’omoks First Nation representation, pressed the sewage commission to analyze the possibility of receiving and treating wastewater from the Union Bay and Royston areas into their existing system. Former Electoral A Director Bruce Jolliffe brought the request forward.

In April of 2018, the commission, apparently warm to the idea, asked staff to study the impact that this new approach would have on their system.

New Area A Director Daniel Arbour (elected in October 2018 to replace Jolliffe, who retired) told Decafnation that serious behind-the-scenes discussions on this approach got underway in mid-2019.

Over the next six months, elected officials and KFN representatives talked through topics that ranged from what expenses Area A residents would pay to how K’omoks First Nation and Union Bay Estates would be engaged.

In February of 2020, the CVRD engineering staff reported back to the sewage commission with its analysis.

The report showed that the impact of adding wastewater from Union Bay and Royston would have minimal impact on existing infrastructure over the next decade.

That analysis concluded adding wastewater flows from the southern areas of the regional district would initially add only about three percent to four percent more wastewater flowing through the system and an estimated 10 percent to 12 percent more when Union Bay Estates and potential K’omoks First Nation developments in the southern area get fully underway.

The report also showed that the addition of wastewater flows from Area A would reduce the financial burden on all participants.

Arbour said everyone at the table could envision some benefit for their constituents.

He said Courtenay and Comox saw financial benefits. KFN saw the potential to connect any development they pursued on properties they own in the area. And Union Bay Estates, which plans nearly 3,000 new homes in the area, saw that the new sewer proposal could reduce their cost of future development.

On Feb. 11 the sewage commission passed a motion in-camera that stated, among other things, that the commission was open to receiving and treating the southern area’s wastewater if it proved feasible. The minutes of this meeting have since been made public.



Connecting households in other areas to the existing Courtenay-Comox system is not a new idea. It has been proposed before.

In fact, it was on the table prior to the unsuccessful 2016 South Sewer Project proposal but was eliminated from consideration early. At the time, the elected officials who govern their closed system weren’t interested in the southern area issues. CFB Comox has one seat on the commission, Courtenay has three and Comox has three.

That meant the only option in 2016 was to once again propose some version of stand-alone wastewater treatment for the Royston-Union Bay area. But concerns about a sewer outfall into the oyster-growing waters of Baynes Sounds necessitated a long and expensive pipe crossing the Estuary and Comox sand bar to reach the Brent Road treatment plant.

That pushed costs beyond the reach of most residents. And it was one of the factors that caused the Village of Cumberland to pull out of the South Sewer Project and pursue plans to upgrade its own existing wastewater system, which is currently underway.



It is not yet known how much this new approach will cost, nor how much each homeowner would have to pay to connect.

Over the summer, CVRD staff will gather financial data, explore the feasibility of grants and plan a public consultation process that might occur in the fall.

Director Arbour says whether the CVRD and KFN can obtain federal and provincial infrastructure grants will be key to making the proposal viable. And to that end, he’s thankful that everyone has managed to see a long-term benefit.

A sign pointing up Mcleod Road in Union Bay

He says the price will have to be less than the 2016 proposal, which pegged an individual homeowner’s cost from $25,000 and up, which was as much or more than the cost of installing a new private septic system.

“Whatever it comes in at, it has to make financial sense to individual residents. What is the public appetite and what value do they see for their money?” Arbour said. “It has to be affordable. That will ultimately define success.”

Arbour says he won’t over-promote the idea. If the numbers aren’t well below the last proposal for a stand-alone treatment plant, then he could let the idea sit for now.

“But the framework will still be in place to connect Area A households, which resolves environmental issues and addresses future development issues in this fast-growing part of the Comox Valley,” Arbour said.

From a strictly optimistic perspective and if significant grants were solidified in the next 12 months, Arbour believes the project could begin in a year or two.

Arbour praised K’omoks First Nation leadership during the discussions about the plan.

KFN already owns land in the area and could potentially own significant parcels in the former Sage Hills development area depending on the ongoing treaty negotiations with the provincial government.



Including more of the Comox Valley in the Courtenay-Comox wastewater system raises other issues, such as how the function will be governed.

The commission has historically been composed of only Courtenay and Comox elected officials because the system primarily serves them. KFN has been a customer without representation on the commission. CFB Comox is also a customer but has a seat on the commission due to some early investment by the Department of National Defence.

Accepting southern area wastewater — the cost of which would be paid by residents — would likely entail voting representation for the Electoral Area A director and KFN.

KFN was offered a non-voting seat on the board last fall. At the same time, following a staff report on governance, the Electoral Area B director was offered a non-voting seat at the commission table when dealing with issues affecting Area B residents.

And another issue for the proposal is how to best acquire public approval.

Sewage commissioners could choose to have staff write a new Liquid Waste Management Plan, a task that could delay construction for two years or more. Or it could proceed through an Electoral Assent Process, such as a public referendum that could take place early in 2021.

The Electoral Services Commission, comprising directors from areas A, B and C, will decide which public approval process to follow.

If the CVRD proceeds via an Electoral Assent Process and it is successful, construction could begin in 2022 and complete in 2023.


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More sewage | Top Feature

Mistrust still evident between residents, sewage commission

Plagued by the odours of sewage from Courtenay and Comox residents for 34 years, the residents of Curtis Road returned to the regional sewage commission this week hoping for resolutions to their concerns, which they say now includes a threat to their drinking water wells and a visual blight on their neighborhood

New Courtenay-Comox sewage master plan process to restart after virus lockdown delays

New Courtenay-Comox sewage master plan process to restart after virus lockdown delays

Three short-listed options for new conveyance routes for the Courtenay-Comox sewage system will go to public meetings later this summer

New Courtenay-Comox sewage master plan process to restart after virus lockdown delays

By George Le Masurier

More than a year ago, the Comox-Courtenay Sewer Commission launched a major initiative to develop a new master plan for conveying sewage to the Brent Road treatment plant, as well as envisioning future demand for advanced levels of treatment and the ability to reuse the wastewater and other resources.

The new plan — officially termed a Liquid Waste Management Plan — was designed to address the immediate issue of preventing the failure of the large sewer pipes that run along the beach below the Willemar Bluffs, by moving the entire conveyance system onto an overland route.

Kris La Rose, the Comox Valley Regional District’s senior manager of water and wastewater services, who is leading the project, his staff and a joint Public and Technical Advisory Committee spent more than six months discussing how best to reconfigure the system. At its March 22, 2019 meeting, the committees settled on a recommended short-list of three options, which were then the basis of consultations with the K’omoks First Nation.

It was expected these options, among other recommendations in the new LWMP, would be finalized this summer. But this spring’s COVID-19 virus security measures prevented public consultations planned for May and June.

With the loosening of provincial lockdown requirements, La Rose will seek commission approval next month to resume public consultations during a six-week period starting in August.

And that will push the regional district staff’s final recommendations on conveyance routes and treatment levels to the Courtenay-Comox Sewage Commission into November.



Back in 2014, the sewage commission surprised the public with the now-discarded plan to prevent failure of the Willemar Bluff beach pipe by building a new pump station on Beech Street in the Croteau Beach area, located in Area B, not the Town of Comox.

Croteau Beach residents raised concerns about negative impacts on their groundwater wells and the propriety of forcing sewerage infrastructure on a neighbourhood that neither benefits from it or has a legislative voice on its governance. There was no public input prior to the plan’s announcement.

They also presented an independent financial analysis that showed the regional district had less expensive options.

As planning proceeded, and La Rose was appointed to a new position with authority over the project, it was discovered that the regional district’s original cost estimates were low by at least half and that other red flags had emerged.

La Rose recommended abandoning the original plan for a highly consultative process to develop a long-term plan that would consider a broader range of issues and visions.

The provincial LWMP process recommended by La Rose included forming Technical and Public advisory committees (TAC and PAC), who would also meet jointly and make recommendations with a single voice.



The joint TAC-PAC recommendations are for three options.

First, a system to pump sewage directly from the Courtenay No. 1 pump station on Dyke Road over Comox Road hill, through Comox and along Lazo Road to the Brent Road treatment plant. 

Second, the advisory committee collapsed three variations of conveying wastewater to the treatment plant via tunnels into one option. In one variation, the sewer pipe would tunnel through Lazo Road hill. In another, it would tunnel through both Comox Road hill and Lazo Road hill. And using a gravity tunnel from Comox to the treatment plant will also be considered. While tunnelling is considered one option, all three tunnelling variations will be studied separately.

Third on the shortlist is to consider the three variations of the tunnelling option but as implemented into two phases.

Earlier this year, the sewage commission unanimously approved the recommendations of its Technical and Public advisory committee.

La Rose says the TAC and PAC committees also recommended three options for treatment levels at the Brent Road treatment plant. They include continuing with secondary treatment, adding filtration for all but peak wet weather flows or filtration for all flows. All three options would include disinfection in the form of UV light.

This article was updated on June 15 to correct the three conveyance route shortlist options. 


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More Latest Feature | sewage

Mistrust still evident between residents, sewage commission

Plagued by the odours of sewage from Courtenay and Comox residents for 34 years, the residents of Curtis Road returned to the regional sewage commission this week hoping for resolutions to their concerns, which they say now includes a threat to their drinking water wells and a visual blight on their neighborhood

Union Bay opens new water treatment plant, eliminates boil-water advisories

Union Bay opens new water treatment plant, eliminates boil-water advisories

A new water treatment plant for Union Bay opened recently that is expected to eliminate boil-water advisories  |  George Le Masurier photo

Union Bay opens new water treatment plant, eliminates boil-water advisories

This is a press release from the Union Bay Improvement District issued last week

After years of planning and coordination, the Union Bay Improvement District (UBID) has completed a new water treatment facility to service 690 properties in the community – allowing a regular boil-water advisory by Island Health to be lifted.

The $4.2 million plant was officially completed on May 15 and includes filtration of the water (drawn from Langley Lake) – meeting provincial water treatment guidelines what were previously not being achieved.

“This project is a success that has been many years in the making by many people – from board members and staff who helped prepare the UBID many years ago for this investment, to Union Bay Estates for their donation of the land, to the construction crews able to wrap up the work amidst the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Ian Munro, UBID chair.

“We are thankful to everyone A new water treatment plant was mandated by the province, and after planning, design and procurement was completed with the support of Koers Engineering, construction by Ridgeline Mechanical Ltd. began in June 2019. The original goal to complete by April was postponed due to additional constraints created by COVID-19. Along with the new treatment system, the project included the new building facility, a new glass-fused steel water reservoir and new water main and tie-ins.

The total cost of the Water Treatment Plant project supplied by Ridgeline Construction is $4.2 million, of which approximately $700,000 will be contributed from UBID’s Public Works Capital Reserve and $3.5 million will be borrowed and amortized over 25 years. Parcel taxes have increased from $345 to approximately $390 in 2020 – a $46 increase.

“The UBID’s most critical service is to provide clean, safe and reliable water to our residents, and completing this project so we could do so has been our top priority,” said Munro. “We know that the ongoing boil water advisories have been trying for many in the community and we’re thankful to all for consideration in this time,”


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More Latest Feature | News

Petition put to BC Legislature: restore North Island pathology

North Island MLA Claire Trevena presented a petition signed by over 2,500 people to the BC Legislature Nov. 20 that calls for the return of onsite clinical pathologists’ services to the Campbell River Hospital and to investigate possible conflicts of interest within Island Health

BC’s logging practices called out by Comox Valley group

Supporters of Save Our Forests Team – Comox Valley (SOFT-CV) rallied outside Claire Trevena’s office in Campbell River to protest the provincial government’s continued logging of the last stands of productive old-growth on Vancouver Island

$52.6 million Dementia Village planned on former St. Joseph’s General Hospital site

$52.6 million Dementia Village planned on former St. Joseph’s General Hospital site

Providence Living’s rendering of its planned Dementia Village in the Comox Valley

$52.6 million Dementia Village planned on former St. Joseph’s General Hospital site

By George Le Masurier

Island Health announced a project development agreement with Providence Living today to build and operate a 156-bed dementia village on the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital site.

“Our government continues to take action to ensure seniors, especially those with complex care needs, are receiving the best care possible,” Minister of Health Adrian Dix said in a press release this morning. “Friends and family should be confident knowing a loved parent or grandparent with dementia is in a safe environment, which is why I am pleased to see this project take another step towards meeting the needs of seniors in the Comox Valley.”

Read more about long-term care issues in the Comox Valley

Leah Hollins, Island Health Board Chair said she was”excited to see Vancouver Island’s first publicly funded dementia village be built in the Comox Valley.”

The dementia village will feature 148 publicly-funded long-term care beds and eight publicly funded respite beds. It will be built on the site of the existing The Views long-term care home and the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital. Once completed, the dementia village will replace the existing beds at The Views.

“We are very pleased to take this next step in fulfilling our mandate to provide innovative seniors care by building a long-term care home modelled on the concepts of a dementia village,” said Jane Murphy, President and CEO of Providence Living, and the former CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital. “The Views at St. Joseph’s has a long history in Comox, and we are committed to seeking community input to ensure we best meet local needs. We look forward to continuing our work with Island Health to advance our shared goal of helping seniors in the Comox Valley live to their full potential.”

The dementia village will include:

• Small, self-contained households of 12 residents where each resident will have their own room and bathroom, leading to heightened infection control in a modern space
• A social model of resident-directed care for people with dementia
• Fostering free movement of people with dementia within a home and village setting
• Ensuring resident involvement in everyday activities within the household or the wider, secure village
• Focusing on individualized smaller groupings; cultural bonds, friendships, social activities
• Emphasizing daily life and sense of belonging – involving residents with food preparation, cooking, laundry
• Amenities for residents and community that include community gardens, child daycare, Island Health-funded adult day programs, and a community space, art studio, bistro and chapel

Construction of the dementia village is estimated to cost $52.6 million. Island Health will provide annual operational funding to meet the province’s target of 3.36 direct care hours per resident day. Providence Living has already begun the redevelopment planning process, with a goal of starting construction in spring or summer 2021.

“As a resident of the Comox Valley for the past 30 years, I’ve seen the increased need for seniors’ care, and I’ve heard from people looking for choices in long term care homes to meet their specific holistic needs,” said Ronna Rae Leonard, parliamentary secretary for seniors and MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “This innovative dementia village will help seniors experiencing dementia continue to have a good and dignified quality of life.”

Island Health and Providence Living will be consulting and engaging with stakeholders and the community as the project moves ahead.

Providence Living is a new faith-based, non-profit health care organization established by Providence Health Care to redefine our collective expectation of seniors’ care in British Columbia. The formation of Providence Living came from a deep desire to be part of a global movement to completely rethink and reimagine the experience of seniors and others in need of care, replacing care homes with genuine communities.

The organization was formerly known as Providence Residential and Community Care, and supported by St. Paul’s Foundation, Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation, and Auxiliary Society For Comox Valley Healthcare.


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More Health Care | Top Feature

Ocean farming: more food, less land, reduced GHG emissions

The climate crisis will force us to produce more food on less land while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. For Bren Smith, director of the non-profit group Greenwave, this transition means expanding our definition of farming to include the ocean