Friday, March 19, 2010

Royal Bay Colwood

The Royal Bay development in Colwood will eventually cover over former gravel pit in Colwood. When built out the development will have 2800 houses. The first areas have been completed

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I find the area neat, clean, and utterly uninspiring. The neighbourhood looks and feels like the world Malvina Reyonlds talks about in her song Little Boxes. It is not really different than most new developments which depresses me. There is nothing organic about how the community will arise in this area.

The houses look like they are all of the sort of design that is larger than needed and will feel empty and alienating. This goes along with a neighbourhood that feels alienating.

Long term the developers talked of having schools and commercial areas within the development, but I am not sure that this will happen. Specifically in the case of the commercial development I do not see how there will be enough density in the area to support retails businesses.

A bigger concern I have about this development is that it is being constructed in an area that would have made for a perfect location to an industrial park after the gravel pit is done. The land is flat, it is dug down to bedrock, it has no close neighbours to it and it would help deal with the shortage of industrial lands in the region.

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We do need the houses to be built as we need about 1000 to 1500 new housing units each year just to keep pace with the demand. We really need 2000 units a year for the next decade to drive the price of housing down. A basic condo should start at $100,000 a year and a basic 1500 sq ft house should start at $250,000.
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