Condo, Strata and HOA News

Tag Archives: park

When Developers Face Resistance

While I can sometimes fail to be the biggest fan of developers – based on experience; and there are a few that I love and champion with proven track records, a commitment to quality, a stand behind fixing deficiencies quickly and without balking – I admit fully that they can often face significant barriers in getting proposals accepted by the municipality and local residents.

Such has been the case for the Ilkay Development Corporation attempt to build out a 236 hectare parcel skirting beside the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and sitting on the ocean edge.

It’s a sordid history – the land was bought in a bankruptcy and for a while appeared to be illegal bought (second link) by the developer.

The plan to put in 257 summer cabins (they are not being marketed for year round inhabitation), rec centers, parks, maintenance buildings and helicopter pad is being heavily resisted locally.

Local residence, activist groups, and now a movement from within a local native band – where the band council supports the development – all oppose the development.

Even if the local residents and interests prove strong enough to stop the current development plans (likely and second link) the land still has mineral extraction rights, so if it isn’t developed it could be massively deforested. The land can also be legally subdivided for massive mansions on huge lots. Even if they win against the condominium summer cabin development, they’ll need to fight again to stop other development. Of course, if they can stop one development they may be more likely to continue their fight to stop development successfully.

Where is comes to forested land, lake front land, land abutting a provincial park (and this development has all three) – the development process is always complicated. It’s should be a risk that the developer took into account buying the property.

I’m not in a position to determine if it’s a good development. In south Florida – similar development has been terrible, with beach front upon beach front being privatized. In Alberta, there has been a very good approach to development near and in Provincial parks that had been good to the developer and the community.

In any case, it is likely that this is far from finished, and it is unclear what options the developer will choose to take in attempting to recoup their time and investment if the plan isn’t approved.

Link: Times Colonist Special Report on this story

Condominium Residents Fund and Build Their Own Garden

One thing that living in a condominium doesn’t really meet the needs of – green space.  Condominum at it’s heart is about higher density living (sometimes very high density), and green space requires land that could otherwise be monetized by a developer.

One of those “if I had my way” – would be to require some additional green space development, or land set aside, with the development of each condominium. Even though I love the urban environment, I’ve come to understand the power of a little green space on life. The condo I live in was specifically chosen because of a large surrounded courtyard, as well as being right beside a large public park and river.

With that in mind, it’s a great smile to read of John Zayac and Dr. Marie Simon, who leased the land beside their condominium to build a garden. If you follow the link, don’t forget to view the 9 or so pictures, they are gorgeous.

If we can use this site as an example of what dedicated condominium owners would do with some land, perhaps we can use this park to excite municipalities about the benefits of reserved green space with each new condominium development.

Green space helps with the anxiety and stress that can come from higher population densities. Unlike the lament that Kermit sings, it shouldn’t be so difficult being (creating) green.

That Mobile Home Park Could Be a Condominium

I always like to think that a condominium is really an agreement by neighbours to manage very, very, localized communal infrastructure.

If you live in a city, you belong to a localized communal group that exists to manage common infrastructure and services required to maintain and build a local community. In regards to your city, that generally means garbage, power, transportation, zoning, and community services (pools, parks, gardens). If you look at the list, both are generally the same issues – it’s all just a matter of scale and how local the services and infrastructure are. Importantly, both a municipal government and a condominium corporation have the unilateral rights to raise funds (through taxes and, for condominiums, contributions) to meet their respective budget.

Given that definition (and importantly, government legislation), condominium corporations can take all forms, shapes, and sizes. One of those shapes being a mobile home park.

Mobile home parks share a lot of common infrastructure and services – road structures, sewage, gardens, and community enforcement. They make a great candidate to be condominium corporations. They are also very inexpensive for a developer to create – in this case they don’t even have to provide the units, just the basic infrastructure. They are also a great target to convert from a rental property to a self-managed corporation. We see conversions happen a lot with apartment rental buildings changed over into a corporation, and the process is very similar for rental parks.

Are mobile home corporations better than rental parks – for the resident I would think so. The people you have living beside you have a stronger stake in maintaining a better living standard, and you have local residents determining how to best spend the contributions.