A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)

New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

An 85-unit rental complex for seniors is one step closer to breaking ground on Cedar Hill Road as Saanich council gave the development the green light after a public hearing.

On Tuesday (May 11), residents weighed in on The Oaks at Dawson Heights, a four-storey affordable seniors housing development proposed by the Dawson Heights Housing Society for those 55 and older at 3700 Cedar Hill Rd. The applicant has committed to maintaining the rental rates at a level that’s consistent with the BC Housing and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation funding program requirements with eligibility criteria based on income.

The Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association, the Mount Tolmie Community Association and the Mount Douglas Seniors Housing Society supported the proposal, citing the benefits of increased affordable housing for seniors in the municipality.

READ ALSO: Saanich sends proposed 85-unit seniors’ rental development to public hearing

However, concerns were raised about the potential parking and traffic implications for the neighbourhood, the size of the development and the impacts on current residents who will need to find other accommodations during construction amid the pandemic. The existing residential buildings on the property will be demolished to make way for the new structure.

READ ALSO: Saanich approves 97-unit seniors’ affordable housing complex for second time

According to the applicant, most of the tenants have been relocated to other nearby buildings with support from the Dawson Heights Housing Society, and the remaining nine will move out shortly.

Peter Parker, chair of the Dawson Heights Housing Society, responded to the concerns saying the board’s goal is to create housing that they want their loved ones to live in, and the existing structures no longer meet that standard. The buildings are more than 50 years old and both mould and asbestos have been identified.

READ ALSO: Saanich adopts 5.76% property tax hike for 2021

Following public input, councillors voted unanimously in favour of approving the required development variance permits, rescinding the existing tree and age-restriction covenants, and granting $170,000 to support the application from Saanich’s Affordable Housing Fund.

Final approval of the rezoning request and development permits was postponed until the applicant secures the required covenants, a housing agreement and a reciprocal access agreement with the neighbouring property owner.


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