Published On: Friday, 01 December 2017

Vernon Reservoir Land Sold for Attainable Housing Project

Vernon Reservoir Land Sold for Attainable Housing Project
Almost 20 acres of land previously used as a water reservoir for Greater Vernon Water has now been sold for future housing. (Photo Credit: City of Vernon)

VERNON - The City of Vernon recently agreed to sell a 19.6 acre portion of the McMechan reservoir lands at 901 31st Avenue to Vernon Reservoir Developments Ltd. for just under $6.5 million.

The vision for a new neighbourhood proposes high quality development with a variety of the housing types needed in Vernon, including single family homes on small lots, duplexes, townhouses, and rowhouses. As part of this housing mix, the developer has agreed to include an attainable housing component, making it easier for average income households to buy in this neighbourhood. In addition, secondary suites and/or carriage homes would be an option to act as mortgage helpers and to provide more rental housing in the city.

The neighbourhood will also include a new park and trail system and pleasant walkable streets designed to slow automobile traffic while encouraging travel by foot and by bike. This vision of the proposed development aligns with Vernon’s Official Community Plan (OCP).

The City was approached in April 2017 by the developer regarding the city-owned lands. The site was previously used as a water reservoir for Greater Vernon Water and was decommissioned in 2006. Since that time, the City has explored a variety of ways to prepare the site for sale and development, all of which required the City to make a significant investment.

The sale to Vernon Reservoir Developments Ltd. will require the developers to rezone the land and obtain a phased development agreement. The phased development agreement will assure the City and the developer what the development will look like. The developer will undertake all of the engineering, planning and site preparation necessary for development.

Vernon Reservoir Developments Ltd. will be working closely with Bluegreen Architecture, the team responsible for the design of The Outback in Vernon.

Mayor Akbal Mund welcomes the high quality housing planned for the property and the inclusion of attainable housing. He predicts the development will help ease the low rental vacancy rate in Vernon. He noted the development ties in with the National Housing Strategy and demonstrates the city's committment to creating innovative solutions to housing challenges.