Workshop #2 Results
A dedicated group of participants worked together with our architects on April 5/6, to refine the cluster locations for 20 housing units on Rainbow Ridge and review the interior floorplan layouts. Our focus continues to be on approximately 5 acres at the Northern end of the property, where a series of duplexes and triplexes surrounding a sunny commons, will potentially share an allotment garden, forest trail linking the Seniors Village to Rainbow Ridge and the future shops/services on the adjacent CIBATA Commercial lot, through to Mansons Landing for easy pedestrian access, and a public foot trail to the south that connects with Siskin Lane.
The conclusions of the weekend Housing Workshop were presented at a Public Open House on April 7; over 40 people attended the event, asked many questions, and celebrated all that has been accomplished over the past year with cake and coffee. Highlights of that presentation follow:
Hydrogeological study key findings:
- There is a deep, large aquifer under Mansons Landing
- New well will be approximately 80 meters or 240 feet deep
- Aquifer is recharged by Hague lake, so there is lots of supply and new well will not impact existing wells
- Potentially more iron or magnanese than preferred, so a treatment system is required
- New well needs to sited 30m from septic tanks / drainfield
- Some wells in neighbourhood are contaminated with coliform, but hydrogeologist believes aquifer is not contaminated, which will be tested when new well is drilled
- There are lots of siting options for a new well
Site potential for waste water key findings:
- Soils and depths good for sewage disposal, and deepest along west property line.
- Deepest soils will support shallow trench drainfield (least expensive)
- Advanced Type 2 treatment system (like the Co-op) is recommended
- Drainfield or fields need to follow contours of the land
- Multiple tanks & drainfield(s) can be placed in different areas
- Total length of required drainfield area is conservatively estimated at 100m.
- Approximate width of each drainfield 4m – 12m depending on forest character
- Green belt and forest buffers between drainfield lines is preferred for screening & nutrient absorption
Possible rainwater management strategies, depending on site design:
- Install culvert at Beasley Road driveway
- Limit amount of rainwater in ditch by diverting a portion to the east side of the road via extra culverts to spread the dispersal field over Rainbow Ridge
- Include temporal water storage – swales, dry pits, tanks or rain gardens
- Route storm water to green areas and forest buffers for absorption
- Direct storm water through adjoining properties creeks to avoid flooding
- Enhance existing wetland areas on the property for nutrient absorption
Ecological key findings:
- Located in coastal western hemlock xeric maritime1 (CWHxm1) biogeoclimatic zone, which can be improved with restoration of hydrological functions on the property.
- Lot was heavily logged, currently in different states of natural regeneration, forest health can be encouraged with moderate amounts of thinning & replanting.
- Preliminary ecological site assessment did not identify specific ecological elements for protection in the Phase 1 housing site area. Key recommendations included:
- Keeping large tracks of continuous forest rather than dispersed stands
- Protect north-south / east-west wildlife corridors
- Retention of wildlife trees where possible
- Provide green buffers for neighbours, wetlands, trails and wildlife
- The Ecological Report will be updated to reflect current Rainbow Ridge site proposal and published in the near future.
Next steps are for our architects, the RWA Group, to further refine the Rainbow Ridge design and floor plans, which we will bring back to the community for continued consultation. In the meantime the Housing Committee is researching all the technical aspects of the project together with professional engineers and consultants so that we can build a sustainable and sensitive affordable housing project that respects the land, the forest, the lake, and our neighbours. Learn more by visiting www.CortesCommunityHousing.org
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