A simple yet radical housing concept is growing in Sooke. People want to live in a caring and supportive community where they know their neighbours. Sounds great, but is that really possible? Where? And what does it look like?
In January 2016, Harbourside Cohousing (6681 Horne Road) opened its doors to 31 homeowners. From the outside, it looked like a standard new development, including a mix of apartments, duplexes, and four-plexes. However, this was also BC’s first senior cohousing community. The new owners had been working together for five years to design a development that would best serve them to live in a connected community. This unique owner-directed seniors’ cohousing development has been widely noticed in British Columbia and beyond.
Harbourside Cohousing also attracted attention from nearby neighbours Harry and Sissel Hammer who thought their family property at 6603 Sooke Road—just east of Harbourside on the Sooke Harbour waterfront—would work well for another cohousing community.
“Early in 2016, we contacted the Canadian Senior Cohousing Network about the possibility of cohousing on our property,” Sissel Hammer explains. “A public meeting was organized to see if there would be interest and we were delighted that 30 people attended” Sissel adds.
There are now 13 member households committed to building and owning a second cohousing development at 6603 Sooke Road (located at the end of Goodmere Road, west of Mariners Village, overlooking Sooke Harbour). The development group is called West Wind Harbour Cohousing.
Mobius Architecture (who also designed Harbourside Cohousing) has prepared concept plans to build a 32-unit, senior-focused cohousing development with extensive common amenities that encourage neighbourly interaction that supports people to live in their own homes longer. The development partners have submitted a rezoning application to the District of Sooke.
Public Information Meeting
West Wind Harbour Cohousing will be hosting a Public Information Meeting on Thursday, May 18th, to share their development plans at an Open House from 4:00-8:30 p.m. at the Sooke Community Hall, lower meeting room, including a presentation at 7:00 p.m.
For people interested in the possibility of joining the cohousing community, on Saturday May 20th from 4:30-6:30 pm, West Wind Harbour Cohousing will also host a Meet-and-Greet and Tour to share information with anyone who would like to become involved.
Members will make a presentation on the project at 5:00 p.m., then lead a tour of the development site.
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