Denman Community Land Trust Association
Denman Island B.C. Canada


September 2017

September 17th Community Information Meeting

Proposed Seniors’Affordable Housing Bylaw Amendment

Denman community members have three formal opportunities to comment on the bylaw amendment application from Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) to create 8 units/4 duplexes:

  1. -a DCLTA-sponsored Community Information Meeting (CIM);

  2. -a Trust sponsored CIM, once the bylaw amendment process is underway; and

  3. -Public Hearing, at the time that the Local Trust Committee considers giving third reading to the bylaw (provided that the amendment process has received first and second readings).
    The two CIMs provide opportunities to ask questions, suggest ideas and raise concerns.

The DCLTA-sponsored CIM is scheduled for 3:00 pm on Sunday, September 17th, at the Activity Centre. DCLTA chose a Sunday afternoon in order to provide a time when most people can attend. There will be maps and other visuals, a brief introduction to the project and an open session for questions and input. The DCLTA board and many other volunteers have worked on this project for two years, consulting the community along the way. The displays at the CIM will portray this work, including the results of these consultations. The meeting record will document people’s support for the project as well as their concerns.

The CIM will be preceded by an on-site session at Lot M, 3730 Denman Road (the narrow lane immediately west of the Guest House property), starting at 2:00 pm. The session is intended to allow islanders to see the proposed site. If you can’t attend then, please come on September 10th, when a work bee is being held from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. If you are able to help – and we’d love to have some more volunteers – bring gloves, pruning tools, shovels and enthusiasm. The work bee is a great time to examine the property, chat with DCLTA board members and visualize the project.

Please mark September 17th on your calendar, and come and contribute to the “community conversation” on this project. For more information about DCLTA and the proposal, visit our website at

submitted by Harlene Holm

Island Grapevine

August 24, 2017


August 2017

...eau, wasser, agua ...WATER!

Of the many hurdles the Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) has encountered in the Seniors’ Affordable Housing Project, finding an adequate source of potable water has been the most stressful and potentially expensive undertaking. Is the drilling location optimal? How deep will the drillers need to go? Will the result be salt water?

The good news is that, after two and a half hours of drilling on July 5th, the well was yielding three gallons of fresh water per minute at a depth of eighty feet—an excellent rate for Denman Island and more than sufficient for the proposed eight units (four duplexes).

Thank you to Red Williams Well Drilling Ltd., to Steve Carballeira for his excellent advice, and to the volunteers who helped clear access to the site.

As the Seniors’ Affordable Housing Project moves forward, DCLTA welcomes volunteers to take on tasks and/or provide expertise. As an association committed to providing affordable housing here on Denman and as a registered charity, DCLTA seeks donations and bequests in support of this mandate. To make a donation, use the envelopes tucked in our red file at Abraxas under “Z” (the D slot is full) or access the PayPal button on our website at For information about setting up a bequest, contact us at

  1. Don’t forget that tickets to DCLTA’s 2017 Sixth Annual Phantom Ball go on sale August 1st. The Phantom Ball is an imaginary gala event that lets you stay home and be there in spirit. This year’s Ball is on Equinox, September 22nd. Tickets are available at Abraxas and at the August 5th and September 2nd Market Day. Buy soon and buy often. ✩

submitted by Harlene Holm


August 2017


June 2017

DCLTA: affordable housing Project 2 update

Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) will soon be applying to amend the  Official Community Plan and Land Use Bylaw to enable the creation of 8 dwelling units (four duplexes) dedicated to affordable housing for low income residents of Denman Island age 65 and over.

The land subject to the bylaw amendment and strata subdivision process is Parcel M, Section 18 (3730 Denman Road). The application will propose that this four acre parcel be divided into two 2-acre parcels, with the parent property retained by the owner.

To advance this project, DCLTA has undertaken measures involving research, outreach and two regulatory changes to alter the status of the property.

Two work bees and many hours of individual volunteer work have opened up the project area. Our next step is to host a pre-application community information meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for July.

At its May 2nd meeting, we requested that the Local Trust Committee (LTC) consider adopting an “affordable housing first” policy that gives priority to any application relating to an affordable housing initiative. This tool is described in the 2010 Islands Trust Affordable Housing Tool Kit and is proposed as an effective way of streamlining and facilitating affordable housing projects.

An “affordable housing first” policy would fast track the amendment process and enhance cooperation within the process, shrink time lags and reduce fees. For the full text of DCLTA’s presentation to the LTC, please check our website:

submitted by Harlene Holm


April 2017

Island Grapevine

March 23, 2017

Table Tennis Tournament Triumph

Table tennis competitors and fans invaded the Activity Centre once again for a weekend of friendly and very high-level competition. This was the 8th annual tournament! Undeterred by the last snow fall of the year (we hope!) serious players from places as far afield as Cortes Island took on our Denman hometown defenders. The results:

NOVICE SINGLES: 1) Sam Kuzma (Cumberland) 2) Thor Zupanec (Gabriola Island) 3) Wendy Neufeld (Denman Island)

WOMENS SINGLES: 1) Jane Lighthall (Denman Island) 2) Wendy Boothroyd (Denman Island) 3) Wendy Neufeld (Denman Island)

RECREATIONAL SINGLES: 1) Robin Fagnan (Victoria) 2) Stewart Goodings (Denman Island) 3) Sam Kuzma (Cumberland)

RECREATIONAL DOUBLES: 1) Robin Fagnan / Stewart Goodings (Victoria / Denman Island) 2) Wendy Boothroyd / Jane Lighthall (Denman Island) 3) Ian Elliot / Robin Mayor  (Denman Island)

COMPETITIVE DOUBLES: 1) Axel Nagorny / Fred Sherbourne (Cortez Island / Courtenay) 2) Adam Kuzma / Max Porcher (Cumberland / Courtenay) 3) Malkolm Boothroyd / Peter Cloud Panjoyah (Denman Island / Hornby Island)

COMPETITIVE SINGLES: 1) Axel Nagorny (Cortez Island) 2) Max Porcher  Courtenay) 3) Fred Sherbourne (Courtenay)

Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) was in charge of the kitchen this year. The approximately $2,000 raised from food sales will go toward our Project 2: Seniors’ Affordable Housing. Our heart-felt thanks to the nearly 30 talented cooks who generously donated delicious salads, entrees, and desserts. Special thanks to Gloria Michin, Louise Bell, Paddy O’Connell, Sue Crowther, Jennifer Ellenton, Carole Vosburgh, Doreen Tetz, and Peter Marshall.

Submitted by Susan-Marie Yoshihara

Island Grapevine

March 2 & 9, 2017

DCLTA’s 2017 Table Tennis Tournament Fundraiser

Next weekend, Saturday March 11 and Sunday March 12, the Eighth Annual Denman Island Table Tennis Tournament will take place at the Activity Centre (formerly the Seniors’ Hall).  Admission is free, and there will be a buffet in the lounge.  You will be able to watch fast and exciting action at six tables, our own stars and competitors from off the island.  There are basically two categories, competitive and recreational, and if you are a player and would like to enter your name in the competition, please call Peter Marshall at 250-335-0489.  The finals are on Sunday around noon.  The proceeds from entry fees and from the sale of food and beverages will go to DCLTA (Denman Community Land Trust Association) who are raising funds to provide affordable housing on Denman Island.

At least twenty of Denman Island’s most fabulous cooks have promised soups, elegant gourmet salads, chili, lasagna, several quiches, hot dogs for kids, tea, coffee, apple juice from Denman apples, and a separate table of delicious desserts and treats.  Don’t miss this opportunity to come and cheer for our own heroes and treat yourself to something from the buffet.

submitted by Jane Guest


March 2017

DCLTA’s 2017 Table Tennis Tournament Fundraiser

Is the winter beginning to get you down?  Longing for some excitement followed by a gourmet meal?  Sigh no more, the Denman Island Table Tennis Tournament is coming up on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12 at the Activity Centre (formerly known as the Seniors’ Hall).  This will be fast championship table tennis played by our own stars plus competitors from off the island.  They will play in six categories, novice open singles, women’s singles, recreational open singles, competitive open singles, recreational open doubles and competitive open doubles.  This provides opportunities for all levels, beginning with kids and novices and ending with the most exciting match, competitive open singles.  If you are interested in competing please call Peter Marshall at 250-335-0489 for further details.  Gold, silver and bronze medals will be won, the top prize going to the winner of the competitive open singles final match which will take place around midday on Sunday.  The winner of the recreational category, whether child or adult, automatically advances to the competitive category in next year’s tournament.

Delicious food will be ready for players and spectators in the lounge, as well as coffee, tea and apple juice, starting at 8:00 a.m.  This year DCLTA (Denman Community Land Trust Association) whose aim is to provide affordable housing for long term Denman Island renters with low incomes, will be providing the food on the buffet tables on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be soup, chili, quiches, all kinds of elegant salads, hot dogs for the kids, and a dessert table, if you can tear yourself away from the action in the gym for a break.  We are asking our friends from among the many amazing cooks on Denman Island to cook or make something, and we hope there will be no leftovers.

Finally, there will be a 50/50 draw.  Tickets will be sold on both days, and the draw will take place at the prizegiving ceremony on Sunday afternoon.  Some keen gardeners may be desperate to get going in their gardens as soon as the snow has all gone, but we hope everybody will spare a few minutes over the weekend to attend this thrilling annual event and cheer for their friends and neighbours and kids who will be playing.

submitted by Jane Guest


February 2017

DCLTA & the Affordable Housing Lexicon

Affordable, near market, below market, low income.... The lexicon of language relating to affordable housing is confusing to say the least!

Affordable is an exceedingly broad term. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), affordable housing should cost less than 30% of household income. Given that everyone needs affordable housing, the problem arises in the math. A household with an income of $1,200,000 could pay $30,000 per month in rent or mortgage payments ($1,200,000 x 30% ÷ 12); with an income of $120,000, the household could manage $3,000; and with an income of $12,000, it could manage $300—not enough for rent and certainly not enough for mortgage payments. As illustrated by this example, the term “affordable” needs to be linked with a defined “low income.”

Low income is another term that is much used and rarely defined. The Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) defines low-income families and individuals as those earning less than 120% of the Statistics Canada low income cut-off (LICO*). This definition is enshrined in DCLTA’s Constitution and is integral to the organization’s status as a registered charity. DCLTA’s definition adds 20% to Statistics Canada’s income threshold for rural populations in recognition of the higher cost of living on Denman Island.

  1. *LICO sets an income threshold below which a family will likely devote a larger share of its income to the necessities of food, shelter and clothing than an average family would. Thresholds include incomes for 7 family sizes and for 5 population densities including “rural.”

Low Market Value and Below Market Value are similarly vague terms. They describe real estate properties and rentals offered at prices lower than those for comparable properties. For example, if the average monthly rent for a two bedroom house is $1,200 a month, a similar home in the area renting for anything less would be considered low or below market value regardless of how close the rents are.

Terms describing affordable housing need careful scrutiny. DCLTA clearly establishes what the organization means by low income: 120% of the LICO. DCLTA charges rent at no more than 30% of this income. DCLTA’s Tenancy Selection Procedure (enshrined in Denman Island Bylaw No. 205) also includes “the length of the applicant’s connection to
Denman Island.”

Using this lexicon, DCLTA is committed to creating secure, long-term, affordable housing for low-income earners and those on low fixed incomes with a residential commitment to Denman Island. Housing projects undertaken by DCLTA are designed to suit housing needs, the size of the land parcel, the nature of the neighbourhood, the environmental values, the location and, when not in conflict with DCLTA’s mandate, the property donor’s wishes. DCLTA recognizes that affordable housing can be provided in many forms. This flexibility is necessary, given DCLTA’s dependence on the availability of land and its most appropriate use.

submitted by Harlene Holm

Island Grapevine Insert

December 1, 2016

For DCLTA’s August 31, 2016, submission to the Federal Government’s “Let’s Talk Housing” consultation program

~ click here


December 2016

DCLTA — “Of Icebergs, Designs, and Wall Hangings”

Like an iceberg, only one-tenth of the Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) activities are visible to the community.

DCLTA’s second project, Seniors’ Affordable Housing, is the tip of 2016’s iceberg. Please visit for the Needs Assessment and Business Plan for this project, along with a summary of the work to date. The project goal is to ensure that Denman seniors on low fixed incomes have secure, long-term housing within the community where they live, and that Denman does not lose valued community members and the vibrancy which diversity brings.

The iceberg's invisible nine-tenths consists of meeting bureaucratic requirements and enduring lengthy wait times for decisions; locating funding opportunities and completing on-line applications; researching existing affordable housing models and studying energy efficiency building measures. In addition, DCLTA attended the June 13/16 Islands Trust Housing Forum, submitted a strong statement to the federal government’s “Let’s Talk Housing” consultation program (link on the News File page of DCLTA's website), and shared information and ideas with similar housing land trusts (one as far away as Cape Breton Island).

The design and ground work for the eight-unit/four-duplex seniors’ affordable housing project begins in 2017.

The design process will invite seniors, caregivers, medical health providers, architectural/design professionals, trades people and all interested islanders to participate and contribute ideas, cautions and ‘musts.’ Conclusions will form guidelines which an architect can translate into detailed construction documents. These documents will guide every step of the construction and, thanks to the public input, should result in a replicable, rural-based, energy-efficient, low-cost/low-maintenance design that is adaptable to the various needs of aging in place and that has the qualities of home.

As an organization dedicated to creating affordable housing for low-income Denman residents, DCLTA relies on community support via memberships, donations, bequests and in-kind contributions. Thanks to the work of board members and the support of generous islanders, the weighty work is accomplished and the ‘berg’ continues to sail forward.

Visit our booth at the Christmas Craft Fair on December 3rd and 4th to renew your membership, stock up on house-shaped gingerbread cookies, ask questions and sign up to volunteer your time and expertise. We will be raffling a quilted wall hanging donated by Danni Crenna, which depicts coastal scenes and "birds in the air" piecing (and possibly even an iceberg).

submitted by Harlene Holm


September 2016


August 2016


July 2016

History and Update

Denman Community Land Trust Association (affordable housing)

In the spring of 2008, five islanders met to form an association dedicated to creating affordable housing on Denman Island.

Our island community had just concluded a lengthy search for bylaw solutions to stem loss of community members and secure housing due to rising real estate prices. The only legislative solution—increase density and hope for the best—has a long track record of failure.  Because local trust committee bylaws cannot control the use or limit the resale value of development, adding densities for ‘affordable’ housing may well have the undesirable consequence of simply adding more houses to the market.

Subsequently, Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) became a registered non-profit society in May 2008 and a registered charity in August 2009 which allows the association to issue tax receipts for donations over $20. We chose a land trust model because, key to maintaining affordability over time, a land trust could obtain and hold land.

The following quote from a July 2011 Flagstone article continues to best describe DCLTA's approach to affordable housing. The article appeared as DCLTA initiated the bylaw amendment process necessary to receive the donation of a hectare of land to support its pilot project:


DCLTA is tackling a very difficult mission — to make affordable housing available to a full spectrum of residents who qualify as low income earners, to charge rents which do not exceed 30% of the tenant’s income, to offer a rural solution, and to avoid taking on a crippling debt load. Despite these difficulties we still believe our goal is worthwhile to preserve the healthy diversity of our community.

As of April 2015, the pilot project was complete and tenanted. Consequently, DCLTA has a template Housing Agreement (enshrined in Bylaw 205 including the Tenant Selection Procedure), a model rental agreement, and an invaluable understanding of the bureaucratic ‘ropes’.

On November 16/13, DCLTA signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire two acres within the village area in a perfect location for seniors’ housing. Thus began the Association’s second project.

To date the Seniors Affordable Housing Project has

✩ Conducted a needs assessment,

✩ Secured a land purchase agreement,

✩ Met with provincial approval agencies to present proposal and seek advice,

✩ Presented the proposal to the Local Trust Committee,

✩ Contacted proposal neighbours and hosted a community open house to introduce the project

     and invite feedback,

✩ Conducted a Wastewater Assessment for Development,

✩ Identified a suitable basic unit design,

✩ Studied energy efficiency options,

✩ Secured the access lane to the proposal site,

✩ Received funding for basic site preparation and tidying.

The following are in process:

✧ Application to exclude the land from the ALR,

✧ Formalizing a business plan and analysis of financial feasibility.

DCLTA has benefitted from funding to complete research into affordability options:

➪ Rural Affordable Housing Project, June 2012, thanks to a Comox Valley Housing Task Force building capacity grant to address homelessness—investigated the island's more traditional style of farming and the associated need for additional, affordable residential accommodations on land designated in the ALR.

➪ Greywater Recycling Project, 2013, thanks to a Comox Valley Regional District Grant-in-Aid (G-I-A)—explored and summarized affordable and environmentally sustainable sewage and greywater disposal systems.

➪ Affordable Housing for Seniors on Denman G-I-A 2014—compiled a formal needs analysis report.

➪ Solar Power Research Project and community presentation G-I-A 2015—provided research and recommendations necessary for DCLTA to make informed decisions in the design of Project 2.

As a community based association with a mandate to create affordable housing, DCLTA relies on volunteers, donations, and in-kind contributions. Land donations and bequests are core to DCLTA’s creation of affordable housing. As a land trust with charitable status, DCLTA can hold land in perpetuity thereby assuring housing security and affordability for tenants. Projects depend on the size of the land parcel, the nature of the neighbourhood, the environmental values, the location (senior housing is best near the village), and, when not in conflict with our mandate, donors’ wishes.

For more information google DCLTA’s website (including research projects) or email

submitted by Harlene Holm

Island Grapevine

May 19, 2016

DCLTA 2016 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of Denman Community Land Trust Association (DCLTA) was held at the Old School on May 11th. Thank you to those who attended, asked questions, and offered advice as well as support of the Association. After the minutes of last year’s meeting and the financial statement for 2015 were read and approved by the attending members, an update was given on progress made during the previous year and future plans. Reports presented at the meeting will be posted on the website (

The Directors' report began by thanking the 206 current members for their support and the many islanders who contributed ideas, in-kind expertise and materials or donated money. The report then summarized DCLTA's accomplishments in 2015 on Project 2—seniors' affordable housing located on a Denman Road property. Essentially, work focussed on the prerequisites needed before DCLTA can begin fundraising for purchase of the land. A positive Wastewater Assessment for Development was completed on Jan. 26/16. Access to the property was established via a binding agreement with a neighbour, which was signed on May 11/16. And, an application was submitted to exclude the property from the ALR. The proposed ALR exclusion will be considered by the Agricultural Land Commission on May 26/16. DCLTA is grateful to Corlan Vineyard for linking its ALR inclusion of ten acres with our application to exclude four acres.

Discussion following the Directors' report focussed on the Project's business plan, which is nearly complete. Funding will rely on a combination of grants, funding sources within the government, and a mortgage and no-interest loans from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Community fundraising, discounts on labor and materials, and in-kind donations will also be part of the financial underpinnings. The Denman community has a long history of making the seemingly impossible possible.

Following election of the directors for 2016, the meeting ended with a draw for the door prize, a tea cozy shaped like a little cottage with flowers round the door, created and donated by Jean Cockburn. The winner was Des Kennedy.

submitted by Jane Guest


May 2016


February 2016

DCLTA February Updates

* Denman Community Land Trust Association's red file needs to move. The Abraxas Free Post "D" slot is full; the "A" —for affordable— slot is full. Thus, DCLTA's red file has relocated to the “Z” slot: zeal, zest, and affordable housing. If you use the Free Post to drop off donations and memberships ($5.00), remember to look under Z-affordable housing. The red file contains envelopes printed with the info we need as a registered charity.

* November 24, 2015, DCLTA received a CMHC Seed Funding grant. Using a portion of this funding, DCLTA engaged Stephanie Slater (MBA) to formalize a Business Plan and conduct a Preliminary Analysis of Financial Viability. Thanks to a 2014 CVRD Grant-In-Aid, DCLTA already has an analysis of need and demand for the proposed project.

* December 11, 2015, DCLTA applied to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to exclude the four acre parcel from the Agricultural Land Reserve, a necessary step before half of the land can be rezoned for seniors affordable housing. The ALC will make a decision on the exclusion application, once our Local Trust Committee has the opportunity to consider it and provide recommendations, which should happen at the March 15, 2016 LTC meeting.

* December 21, 2015, the association initiated Project 2's Wastewater Site Evaluation. Kudos to H2O Environmental Ltd's Steve Carballeira who met with a DCLTA volunteer Christmas Eve day to flag the grid for digging perc holes. Volunteers dug 9 perc holes December 26 and 27—a great way to work off seasonal excesses.

Please visit DCLTA's website

submitted by Harlene Holm

DCLTA’s News File 2015

All rural houses depicted on this site are located on Denman Island

Photos:   John Millen

Website:   Guy Marion

Last updated:   August 30, 2017


Denman Community Land Trust Association

registered non-profit society August 2008

registered charity June 2009

BN 84223 0898 RR0001

DCLTA’s News File