Gabriola Housing Society (GHS) Community Consultation about Paisley Place

Gabriola Housing Society

Press Release

Wednesday, November 6 2019

It’s been an exciting year for Gabriola Housing Society—we’ve achieved a lot, and now once again we need the community’s wider input. At our housing forum in 2018 we learned from the community that Gabriola’s housing needs are many and varied. GHS is focussed on the goal to provide affordable, comfortable, secure rental housing for Gabriolans of all ages who have low to moderate incomes. 

After a year of research and approaches to owners of suitable properties, in August we gratefully received Emcon Services’ generous donation of 8 acres (3.4 hectares) of land on Paisley Place (off Lochinvar, near the village). This quiet, central location is perfect, and the level terrain is suitable for building. Since then we’ve been testing the water, surveying the forest ecology, and investigating the soils. We are studying what other Gulf Islands are doing, learning how we can meet the legal requirements of our local governments (RDN and Islands Trust), and have hired an experienced development consultant.

Our community is already stepping up to help. The Gabriola Auxiliary has provided grants for preliminary work. The Gabriola Island Community Investment Co-op has loaned us money for site testing and surveys. And, even before starting our funding campaign, we have already received personal donations totalling $132,000—mostly anonymous. 

Now we are starting the fun part—deciding what to build. And also, the not-so-fun part, finding out from relevant authorities what is permissible and what changes will be needed to local zoning and bylaws. Taking all these factors into account, we have drafted a tentative site plan for a neighbourhood of 24 homes of various sizes (from studio to 3-bedroom; averaging 900 square feet) clustered amongst the trees, preserving as much forest and trail connectivity as is practicable within the lots we’re building on.

But before we go further, we need public feedback. 

Please join us at the Community Hall on Saturday November 16 from 1pm to 3pm. View our draft site-plan and hear about our plans. Tell us what you think and what your rental housing needs are. Let’s discuss what’s possible. Join the conversation! 

For more information about GHS visit: gabriolahousing.ca