Campus-Retreat & Hillside Living — Area C


Concept — Hillside Living

September 20, 2014

The proposal for Area C (see map below) includes a mix of uses. With recent upgrades and the proposed expansion of the Municipal Park at Seymour Bay and the new proposed trail link through lands north of the Park (i.e., District Lot 2449) and into Area C (i.e., District Lot 2448), this will become one of the most accessible and walkable portions of the site in relation to the new proposed passenger ferry dock.

Maximum lot coverage currently allowed for this area is 10% without a restriction on floor space. Currently, fourteen residential lots are allowed. While this combination will attract the construction of very large homes (potentially 30,000 square feet each, or a total of approximately 358,000 square feet of buildings), we do not consider such land use as reasonable for this Area.

Our strong preference is for a greater variety of building forms for this site which will enable the creation of a true neighbourhood community, will be more gentle to the viewscape, and will contribute to social and demographic variety on the island. In general, we propose that housing at Cowan Point be made more accessible to a broader demographic group representing a wider range of age, income and lifestyle, all of which we trust is in the spirit and content of current and previous OCPs.

Key elements proposed in the rezoning for Area C include:

  • Retaining the currently allowed maximum of 1,500 square metres (16,140 square feet) of buildable floor area for the Retreat/Campus. The vision is for a Retreat/Campus with active programs and seminars covering a wide spectrum ranging from philosophy to art, science, and the maintenance of health and wellness — in short, the “Art of Living” — even including practical life skills such as cooking, baking, wine making, etc., which are true to the aim of “life-long learning.”
  • Permitting an additional 1,500 square metres of Commercial Guest Accommodation in Area C to serve as an adjunct and integral part of the currently allowed Inn in Area A — to provide the economically viable size of operation and to help provide/share necessary supportive services for the Independent/Supportive Living community in Area B.
  • Permitting 900 square metres of Assembly use, primarily for seminar spaces for “Life Long Learning” and “Elder Hostel”-like programs by the Inn/Resort and Retreat/Campus.
  • Permitting 600 square metres for a Scandanavian-Style Spa Facility with a focus on health and wellness.
  • Increasing the maximum permitted lot coverage from 10% to 20%.
  • Adding a Floor Space Ratio restriction, permitting 0.3 FSR for detached dwellings and non-residential uses, and 0.75 FSR for attached dwellings.
  • Increasing the maximum number of permitted lots from 15 (14 residential lots and the retreat centre) to a total of 50.
  • Increasing the maximum number of dwelling units from 14 to 50.
  • Permitting a maximum number of 4 dwelling units per lot.
  • Restricting the maximum floor space to 365 square metres (3,925 square feet) per dwelling unit for residential use.
  • Reducing the minimum permitted lot size from 0.4 ha to 325 square metres, which is consistent with Areas A and B.
  • Requiring connection to community water and community sewer systems in Area C.
  • Allowing detached and attached dwellings, similar to the proposal for Area B. Again, this will encourage a walkable community, focussed on the village-related uses in Area A near the new small passenger ferry dock.

It is further proposed that the definition for the Retreat Centre in Area C be as follows: “RETREAT CENTRE” means a use that provides for the operation of spiritual, cultural or educational indoor or outdoor programs for single-day or in-residence guest use, and may include sleeping accommodation for in-residence guests in a single building or cabins; shared kitchen and eating area in a main building; limited kitchen facilities in cabins; meeting areas; bathrooms; accommodation or residence(s) for staff, manager(s), owner(s), and accessory buildings.”

A plan for the following on District Lot 2448 is underway and will be provided shortly: 20-metre-wide public access to the sea, a small waterfront park, and a trail network. More information will follow as it becomes available.