A 38-acre plot of land in Pointe au Baril has been bought by the Township of The Archipelago.
In a news release, township officials say the land, located on North Shore Road, will be used to create lots for sale which, according to them, will lead to the construction of homes to service the community.
The township says it also plans on zoning the lands to make sure the types and sizes of houses will address the community’s attainable housing needs. John Fior, The Archipelago’s Chief Administrative Officer says the township knows that businesses and industries in Point au Baril are having a hard time finding residency for their seasonal and permanent workers.
“So the thinking is if there are affordable homes built there, and they could be smaller homes like 1,000 to 1,200 square feet […] they may have a place where they can actually host some of their permanent and seasonal staff,” he says.
Fior says the township still has to go through a full planning process that includes an environmental review of the lands and what could be created as well as hydrological studies to see if there is enough water and how many lots could be created if there is.
Nothing is certain yet, he says, adding that the planning process is probably about 18 to 24 months and that’s just to get to a point where perhaps a road could be put in and the lots created.
Fior says the township would not be building at this point in time. “We’re actually retaining a project manager to do all this because if we get to [building stage] the question will be; what do we do next, do we sell the lands, do we retain someone to sell the lands and how do we move forward?”
Fior says this is an exciting and very unique project. “Our council is trying to address an issue, and it’s not just in our community, about affordable housing and having residence for staff and workers,” he says.
However, he says this initiative is almost like a pilot project, adding that if it does work that’s fantastic and great for the community but, “we probably won’t know where we’re heading [until] at least the middle or end of next year,” he says.
On behalf of the township’s council, Reeve Bert Liverance stated “this is an exciting initiative for the Township and the Village of Pointe au Baril. We have listened and responded to our community and this project confirms that the Township is supportive of its residents and businesses.”
The Township says it will keep the community informed as the work continues with plans to host an information session on the North Shore Road project once further details are confirmed.