Denman Community Land Trust Association

Denman Island B.C. Canada


Denman Community Land Trust Association

registered non-profit society August 2008

registered charity June 2009

BN 84223 0898 RR0001

Who we are:

Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) is a local, grassroots volunteer circle of Denman Island residents. We came together out of a common desire to do something tangible to address the need for affordable housing on Denman Island. We were inspired by the successes of the Community Land Trusts of our Salish Sea neighbours to the south in the San Juan Islands, and modelled our Association on those pioneered by the Vernon & District Community Land Trust and the Calgary Community Land Trust in Canada.

The need:

Denman Island is located in Georgia Strait, British Columbia. It has a finite ecosystem which presently supports a rural community with a population of approximately 800 households. The recent influx of relatively affluent new residents has dramatically increased the cost of living on Denman Island. Speculation has resulted in skyrocketing property values and the subsequent dispossession of long-term residents with limited means. The result is a loss of our neighbours, our school children, our helpers and our diversity as a vibrant community. Real solutions - which offer secure, affordable housing - depend on tenure; hence, the decision to create a land trust.

For more information click on:

Housing Affordability: A Denman Island History

Why a land trust:

Community Land Trusts obtain and hold land on behalf of their communities for the creation of affordable housing in perpetuity.

What the land trust will do:

DCLTA's mandate is to provide affordable housing for residents of Denman Island identified as living below the Revenue Canada Low Income Cut-Off, who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and in need of secure housing. Our commitment is to maintain rental rates at no greater than 30% of tenant's income and to focus on the island's working poor, whose numbers have increased as land and housing costs have escalated. The DCLTA delivery plan is rural based with a preference for single-family houses with access to garden space, firewood and the opportunity to develop a home industry.

DCLTA is open to community partnerships with other non-profit and charitable organizations such as those supporting co-op housing and seniors housing as per 2.b. of the DCLTA constitution:

          “To make developed and undeveloped lands, acquired by donation, purchase or

          otherwise, available to other nonprofit and/or charitable organizations for

          development as affordable housing ...

and as outlined in the DCLTA brochure:

          “work closely with a wide range of individuals, groups and agencies interested

          in increasing affordable housing on Denman Island.”

DCLTA is currently engaged in the following activities:

1) Working to meet further bylaw amendment requirements, fundraise to

    purchase the land, achieve the requisite approvals, and invite the community

    engagement necessary for the Seniors’ Affordable Housing Project.

2) Continuing to seek funding grants to cover the design process and

    subsequent construction costs for the Seniors’ Affordable Housing Project.

3) Continuing to research best practices for seniors' independent living, current

    energy-efficiency building practices, climate change adaptations and cost


4) Continuing to seek donations, bequests and land acquisition opportunities.

    Affordable housing projects are shaped by the available land, location and

    demographic need. The focus is on low income earners, small scale, island

    sustainability and community integration.

5) Exploring future affordable housing opportunities that address the needs of

    the community within the context of a rural and finite island environment.

6) Acquiring and administering grants that will facilitate affordable housing

    throughout this community and other rural areas in BC.

7) Continuing to support affordable housing-mandated organizations (some as

    far away as the Maritimes) and add a voice to developing housing strategies

    (Islands Trust Housing Forum, Canada’s “Let’s Talk Housing”).

Highlights of DCLTA’s work to date:

note:    ~ ALC = Agricultural Land Commission

             ~ ALR = Agricultural Land Reserve

             ~ CMHC = Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation

             ~ CVHTF = Comox Valley Housing Task Force

             ~ CVRD = Comox Valley Regional District

             ~ FLNRORD = Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations &

                                              Rural Development

             ~ LTC = Local Trust Committee

             ~ MOTI = Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

             ~ REFBC = Real Estate Foundation of BC

             ~ VIHA = Vancouver Island Health Authority

August 2008 — DCLTA incorporates as a Non-Profit Society.

June 2009 — DCLTA qualifies as a Registered Charity.

July 2010 — Denman Island landowner signs a Letter of Intent to donate a

     portion of her land for the creation of one affordable dwelling ~ DCLTA’s

     Ridge Project.

October 2010 — DCLTA completes Property Inventory Project ~ CVRD

     2010 Grant-in-Aid.

August 2011 — DCLTA submits Bylaw Amendment Application (rezoning)

     for the Ridge Project ~ Islands Trust Sponsorship.

January 2012 — DCLTA completes Accounting Software Project ~ CVRD

     2011 Grant-in-Aid.

February 2013 — DCLTA and the LTC complete the Housing Agreement for

     the Ridge Project ~ REFBC Grant funds the Islands Trust’s required legal


March 2013 — DCLTA completes Greywater Research Project I ~ CVRD 2012


June 2013 — DCLTA completes Rural Affordable Housing Project ~ CVHTF

     2012 Building Capacity Grant.

August 2013 — LTC adopts Bylaws 204, 205 and 206, the rezoning needed for

     the Ridge Project.

October 2013 — DCLTA and the Ridge Project donor sign the legally drafted

     Lease Agreement ~ supported by REFBC Grant.

November 2013 — Denman landowner signs a Memorandum of

     Understanding for the creation of eight units of seniors’ affordable housing.

January 2014 DCLTA becomes registered owner of Ridge property.

February 2014 — DCLTA completes Greywater Research Project II ~ CVRD

     2013 Grant-in-Aid.

May 2014 — DCLTA signs Lease agreement with its first Ridge Property


June 2014 — Building of DCLTA’s first affordable house begins.

September 2014 — DCLTA completes Affordable Housing Needs

     Assessment for Denman Island Seniors ~ CVRD 2014 Grant-in-Aid.

April 2015 — Ridge Project is completed and DCLTA's first low-income

     tenant moves in.

September 2015 — “Release of charge" removes 99 year lease from Ridge

     Property title allowing the land to remain with DCLTA in perpetuity.

October 2015 — DCLTA completes Solar Power Integration Project Report

     for its proposed Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~ CVRD 2015


November 2015 — DCLTA sponsors Solar Power and Passive House

     construction community presentation.

January 2016 — DCLTA completes Wastewater Site Assessment Report for

     Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~ CMHC 2015 Seed Funding grant.

June 2016 — DCLTA attends the Islands Trust Community Housing Forum.

July 2016 — DCLTA completes business plan for Seniors’ Affordable Housing

     project ~ CMHC 2015 Seed Funding grant.

August 2016 — DCLTA submits a brief to the Federal Government’s Housing

     Strategy Consultation Process.

November 2016 — ALC approves DCLTA's Exclusion Application for

     Seniors’ Affordable Housing project.

December 2016 — DCLTA completes the Societies Act transition as required

     for all registered societies in BC.

July 2017 — Well is drilled for the Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~

     CVRD 2017 Grant-in-Aid.

August 2017 — DCLTA completes Wastewater Treatment System Design for

     Seniors’ Affordable Housing project ~ CMHC 2015 Seed Funding grant.

September 2017 — DCLTA submits Bylaw Amendment Application for

     Seniors’ Affordable Housing project.

September 2017 — DCLTA delegation to Trust Council asks the Council to

     amend Trust Policy Statement to include reference to affordable housing and

     to create a model affordable housing first policy for use by LTCs.

March 2018 — DCLTA launches its Pledges for Land Purchase appeal.

June 2018 — LTC approves DCLTA’s Development Variance Permit

     Application (DVP) to waive subdivision water requirements for the Seniors’

     Affordable Housing project’s lane lot line adjustment.

October 2018 — Seniors’ Affordable Housing site well pumping test.

November 2018 — ALC approves DCLTA’s request that the ALR exclusion

     only include the land proposed for the Seniors’ Affordable Housing project.

January 2019 — MOTI grants preliminary approval of the lane lot line


January 2019 — Trust staff confirms that the lane lot line adjustment

     “conforms to all Denman Island Local Trust Committee bylaws, and that

     Islands Trust has no outstanding conditions for final approval.”

February 2019 — FLNRORD issues the water licence for the project.

March 2019 — DCLTA meets with CMHC’s Marcia Jean-Baptiste, Specialist,

     Affordable Housing to discuss funding Seniors’ Project including wastewater

     system using Co-Investment Fund.

May 2019 — ALC approves DCLTA’s Vegetative Buffer and Fencing Plan.

June 2019 — Trust staff presents a Preliminary Draft Bylaw “for information

     only” to the June 6, 2019 LTC meeting.

July 2019 — DCLTA explores grants via the Federation of Canadian

     Municipalities Green Municipalities Fund.

August 2019 — DCLTA submission to the September 17-18, 2019 Trust

     Council urges Trust Council to consider DCLTA’s September 2017

     submission requesting that the Trust Council create a Trust-wide affordable

      housing first policy and address affordable housing needs in the Trust Policy


September 2019 — DCLTA completes Rainwater Catchment Backup project

     ~ CVRD 2019 Grant-In-Aid.

November 2019 — DCLTA resolves lane access issue with the ALC to the

     benefit of both the ALR and the Seniors’ proposal.

December 2019 — Thanks to community support, DCLTA has now raised

     92% of the land purchase cost.

January 2020 — At its January 21, 2020 meeting the LTC passes motions to

     recognize the FLNRORD Water Licence as proof of adequate potable

     water and to allow the existing residential zoning setbacks of 3 metres

     (10 feet), building height maximum of 9 metres and lot coverage maximum

     of 25% for the Seniors’ Affordable Housing proposal.

Affordable Housing is supported in the Denman Island Official Community Plan

Land use planning on Denman Island is unusual in that, as a community within a fragile island ecosystem, we come under the auspices of the Islands Trust, a federation of local island governments with a mandate (Islands Trust Act) to make land use decisions that will "preserve and protect" the islands. To meet this mandate the Denman Island Official Community Plan has set a population cap for the island by way of limiting further subdivision; however, OCP Part E Use and Density Policy 8 reads "The overall residential density on Denman Island should generally not increase beyond that permitted by existing zoning on January 1, 2000 except that a modest increase may be permitted to accommodate zoning amendments for special needs and affordable housing." Also, via Bylaw 185 (May 2009), the Denman Island Local Trust Committee has established an innovative "Density Bank" that enables the transfer of residential densities (potential dwellings) to create affordable housing.

Thus, in addition to directly acquiring ownership of land, the DCLTA may acquire extinguished densities from land designated Conservation or unused densities from parcels with more than one permitted density for use on leased, donated or purchased land. Legal agreements will be absolutely pivotal to these processes.

For CMHC’s profile of DCLTA

                    ~ click here

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges.”

-- Anatole France

Contact Us:

Write to:

Denman Community Land Trust Association

c/o 4201 Nixon Road,

Denman Island, B.C.  V0R 1T0

E-mail us: