Survey on application to amend Official Community Plan

The City of Nanaimo has received the Molnar Group’s application to amend the Official Community Plan for the property located at 388 Machleary Street (the former site of Malaspina Gardens/old Nanaimo Hospital).  The application is asking to “re-designate the land use designations in the Official Community and Old City Neighbourhood Concept Plans to authorize a medium-density multi-family residential development.”

You can view the application on the City of Nanaimo website at

You can provide feedback to your neighbourhood association about the application by completing our 8 question survey.  Please print the survey, complete and drop in the mailbox at 108 Milton Street or 25 Machleary Street. If you’d prefer to complete via email, please email

Update on old hospital site

The Molnar Group held their 2nd community Open House on Friday, January 11, 2019 to present the current concept drawings of their proposed development for 388 Machleary Street. More background and detail can be viewed here.

Residents who were at the recent Open House, and others, may believe that the proposed development represents what is going to be built on the property, that approvals have already been given, and that “tweaking” the plans as presented is all that can happen now.   However, the Nanaimo Old City Association has learned that the Molnar Group’s proposal is still at the earliest stage of the City’s project development process. To date, no approvals or amendments to existing policies that guide development in the Old City have been given, or even comprehensively reviewed. More information about the City of Nanaimo’s process for an Official Community Plan Amendment Application can be viewed here.

It is important for Old City neighbourhood residents to know that our community’s input at this early stage has its strongest voice.  On Jan. 15, 2019 NOCA’S “388 Working Group” met and reaffirmed its position (communicated to the Molnar Group in a letter dated November 8, 2017 that the scale (density) and much of the design of the Molnar Group concept is inconsistent with the Official Community Plan, the Old City Neighbourhood Concept Plan, existing zoning bylaws in the surrounding community, and the community’s desires for the neighbourhood character and function to be maintained.  Future meetings and communications to City officials and the neighbourhood will focus on this message.  Click here for notes about current Land Use policies applicable to the immediate neighbourhood.

NOCA’s activity in response to the Molnar Group’s proposal for 388 Machleary Street in the coming months

  • NOCA has sent a letter to Mayor and Council and City planning staff, advocating for the reinstatement of the Community Planning and Development Committee. This committee will provide a critical voice for NOCA on behalf of the neighbourhood.
  • The 388 Working Group is planning a communication strategy for discussions with individual Council members in the next month or two.
  • NOCA is considering an updated presentation to the new Mayor and Council (a presentation was made to the former mayor and council in December 2017).
  • NOCA may plan another community meeting in the coming months.

NOCA will continue to actively represent the interests of the Old City in maintaining its character and integrity.  Your participation and support in this important neighbourhood effort is welcomed and appreciated!

How can you get involved?

The more informed we all are about how the City’s existing policies and bylaws apply to the 388 property and surrounding neighbourhood, the stronger our neighbourhood voice will be.  Here are some suggestions. Become familiar with sections on Land Use Designation in the following documents:

Write to NOCA (www.nanaimooldcityassociation/Contact) supporting the integrity of Nanaimo’s Official Community Plan and the Old City Neighbourhood Concept Plan as they apply to the property known as “388 Machleary Street” (formerly Malaspina Gardens or The Old Hospital).

New Board Elected

The NOCA Board of Directors for the 2018/2019 year are:

Joy Adams Bauer, President
Brian Booth, Secretary
Ian Knipe, Vice-President
Penny MacMillan, Treasurer
Penny Mosolov, Director
Eve Reinarz, Director
Kelsea Shadlock, Director
Margot Thomaidis, Director

 AGM Presentation

AGM Presentation                                            Ian Knipe and Joy Adams Bauer

Plans for old hospital site

The City of Nanaimo has informed the NOCA Board that planning staff have received formal applications to redevelop the property at 388 Machleary Street. Staff are reviewing the information submitted in support of the joint Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning Bylaw Amendment applications. As the initial review of the application continues by city staff, NOCA can expect to receive a referral request in the weeks ahead.

City staff also tell us that the formal amendment review process, will likely begin in the fall of this year (2018). Prior to the meeting of the city’s Community Planning and Development Committee, the developers are required to host an open house to provide the community with more information about the development proposal. City staff anticipate the developer’s open house will also likely be held in the fall of this year.

For more information on 388 Machleary Street, visit our 388 Machleary Street page.

Welcome to the old city!

The old city is a unique neighbourhood – unlike any other in Nanaimo. It houses the significant majority of the older homes and historical character in the city – a city that was one of the first established in the province in the 1800s.  Most of the rest of Nanaimo was built in the post-war era, especially since the 1970s. Our neighbourhood is complex and diverse, with homes ranging from very low cost to highly desirable renovated heritage homes.  Our residents value the character of the old city and feel a sense of stewardship towards its importance.

The Nanaimo Old City Association (NOCA) is a not-for-profit association and is recognized by the City of Nanaimo as the neighbourhood association for the old city neighbourhood.

For the latest news from NOCA visit our News link above.