Plans for a new townhouse development in Saanich’s Cadboro Bay neighbourhood face opposition from the local community association.
The proposed development on Penrhyn Street close to the centre of Cadboro Bay Village calls for a three-storey townhouse development with 14 units that would change the land use from single family residential to multi- family residential.
While the application from Mark Johnston of M.H. Johnston & Associates would require variances, staff has endorsed it, citing the Official Community (OCP) and the Local Area Plan (LAP).
The Cadboro Bay Residents Association (CBRA), however, has issued a formal letter of opposition to the project in its present form as council’s committee-of-the-whole prepares hear the project.
“Its scale and design are out of character with the neighbourhood near Gyro Park,” said Eric Dahli, chair. “It will also significantly overshadow some adjacent properties.”
Dahli said a community-wide survey following the development’s initial presentation found support for a smaller, two-storey development, which would blend into the surrounding neighbourhood of mostly single-family homes.
“It should have wider setbacks and more green space, try to preserve existing sea views, and minimize the effect of the additional vehicle traffic it will create,” he said.
Dahli, however, said the applicant has not responded to these recommendations from the community.
“Despite pleas for change, the scale and fundamental design have remained essentially the same since 2016,” said Dahli, adding that the community has expressed their concerns in four letters between October 2014 and July 2018. “Engagement with the applicant has yielded little compromise,” he said.
The letter ultimately calls for changes that “significantly redesign and reduce the scale of the development” to ensure it fits the neighbourhood in reflecting community survey and workshop held last year as part of efforts to revise the LAP. Other issues raised include the visual impact of the development and its traffic impact.
“CBRA asks that this application not proceed further until these major changes have been made in consultation with staff, CBRA and neighbours,” said Dahli.
Writing in support of the development, Sharon Hvozdanski, Saanich’s director of planning, said in a memo to council that the OCP supports a range of housing types within villages centres, including townhouses up to three-storeys and low-rise residential and mixed commercial-residential use of up to four-storeys. The area’s LAP also supports a consideration of multi-family housing.
Based on past evidence, council has been historically reluctant to ignore formal opposition from community associations, a possibility for which staff has already prepared by including wording for an alternative resolution that calls on council to “postpone further consideration of the development to allow the applicant to address the concerns raised.”
The outcome of Monday’s meeting was not available by deadline.