The 9.8-acre site is located less than 2 km from downtown Courtenay, and a few minutes walk from services at Rosewall Crescent. A salmon-bearing creek runs through an adjacent 4-acre park. Protection of this aquatic habitat was an important consideration in the design of the storm water management system. Thus, there is minimal use of culverts, (stormwater is directed across the surface into a wetland) and non-permeable surfaces.
The original zoning permitted 63 individual lots, which would have covered the entire site with roads and buildings. The cohousing development has reduced the density, clustered the 36 duplex style homes and delegated parking and cars to the edge of the site, thus preserving green space. Habitat was created through wetland development at the low end of the site, close to the park. The compact floor plans and duplex design are energy efficient, use less material, and have a smaller overall footprint than a conventional development
The plan includes pedestrian friendly walkways, children and adult friendly common outdoor areas, and shared gardens. The yards are designed to allow for privacy and individualization. Five home plans, all with 2 bedrooms on the main level, were created to meet the diverse needs of singles, couples and families with children.
Although each family has their own private home, a unique aspect of cohousing is sharing common facilities and activities such as maintenance, meal preparation and child-care. The common house, which is owned by all residents, is approximately 3500 square feet and includes a kitchen and dining area, two guest suites, a good sized meeting/yoga room, lounge, children’s playroom and laundry. A workshop for woodworking was built with volunteer labour from recycled materials to save costs and reduce the impact on the environment.
CDC provided cohousing development & community building services from the initial start-up meeting in December 2004 to completion in October 2007.
For more info about Creekside Commons, visit http://creeksidecommons.net