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Sustainable design in the Comox Valley: the View Ridge community revisited Sereda, David 1998

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SUSTAINABLE DESIGN IN T H E C O M O X V A L L E Y The View Ridge Community Revisited by DAVID SEREDA B.A., University of Alberta, 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T E C T U R E in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES  LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE PROGRAM T H E F A C U L T Y OF A G R I C U L T U R A L SCIENCES We accept this thesis as conforming to the reauired standard  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A April 1998 © David Patrick Sereda, 1998  In  presenting this  degree at the  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  of  the  requirements for  an  advanced  University  of  British  Columbia,  I agree that the Library shall make it  freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying  of this thesis for scholarly  department  or  by  his  or  her  purposes may be granted by the  representatives.  It  is  understood  that  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without permission.  Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  AYV-£L  ^  m&  head of my copying  or  my written  ABSTRACT  Block 71, the location of this design thesis, is within the Comox Valley, British Columbia, Canada. Situated on Vancouver Island and four kilometers North of the City of Courtenay. The site is 925 acres of cut-block, used for lumber, and owned by Raven Forest Products. Raven Forest Products clear-cut the site as recently as the late 1970's. Second growth has been allowed to persist on the site. In 1994, a development permit for a proposed village was submitted to the Regional District of Comox-Strathcona and is still pending. This proposed village was named 'View Ridge' and was intended to create higher densities and preserve more open space than convention subdivisions. The relevant proposed design for this property, View Ridge Revisited, endeavours to meet and surpass the intentions of the its predecessor.  The View Ridge Revisited proposal allows for a minimum of eight hundred dwelling units and a maximum of one thousand and one hundred. Sustainability is the ultimate goal for View Ridge Revisited. The three parts of this goal are economic sustainability, social sustainability and ecological sustainability. As a template for the structure of the village, Transit-Oriented Developments and the principles of New Urbanism were employed.  Economically, the proposed design should support a community of approximately two thousand two hundred persons. Seven hundred of these should be employed within the community itself. Appropriate retail, office and service-office space has been provided  •4 II  for this purpose. This assumes at least one job per household. At least seventy-five percent of all the housing units in the village are within one thousand-three hundred feet walking distance from the downtown commercial core, or a five minute walk.  These two thousand and two hundred people will live in medium density (12 du/acre) and low-density (8 du/acre) areas. The latter housing type includes ancillary suites above lane-access-only garages. The higher density housing types should be at least three stories, with possible basement suites. All housing should meet some type of precedent typology. The most likely typology sources come from older parts of Courtenay and Comox. Adequate recreation space is provided for the residents. Approximately twenty acres are located adjacent to the Recreation Centre and the Schools. The schools should be adequate for the given population of the community. Additional green space is included throughout the site, in the form of neighbourhood parks. Ten percent of each block is designated to park space. These parks will also function as storm water channels and filtration areas.  From an ecological perspective, the design proposal attempts to integrate the functioning, natural environment with the cultural processes of its human co-inhabitants. In general, the village is centred upon a sixty to eighty meter riparian corridor, a wetland area and a community forest. All of these features should maintain their ecological functions, as well as provide vital components to both the image of the community and its healthy existence. The riparian corridor is a diverted stream from Seal Bay Park. It should be engineered to follow its pre-logging path down into the Little River watershed Storm  111  water is drained from the village into this stream, after being naturally treated within the previously mentioned wetland area. All water from the site is treated in this manner. Sewage is treated at a three acre solar aquatic treatment facility next to the commercial core. The community forest will allow a habitat connection to the riparian corridor as well as provide an educational component to the inhabitants. It is hoped that sustainable logging practices will become a part of this forest's character.  The overall goal of sustainable community design is met at View Ridge Revisited by satisfying the economic, social and ecological requirements. The transit-oriented design of this village provides the template upon which this becomes possible.  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract  Context Context Plan Existing Conditions  LI L2  Masterplan Vegetation  L3 L4  Wetland Commercial Core Commercial Core Perspective Riparian Corridor Sports Field Centre  L5 L6 L7 L8 L9  Masterplan  Area Analysis  Typologies and Details Streetscape Medium Density Housing Storm Water Management Neighbourhood Detention Ponds  V  L10 Lll L12 L13  "5  • • •  

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