Council Monday forwarded plans for a small subdivision to public hearing after the developer agreed to a covenant against secondary suites.

Suites banned from Saanich development

A Saanich councillor said he is “uncomfortable” about creating pockets in the community with covenants against secondary suites.

Coun. Colin Plant made this comment after council forwarded plans for a two-lot subdivision on Helvetia Crescent to public hearing. While the zoning for each of the single family dwellings permits secondary suites, applicant Jesse Baidwan has agreed to a covenant that prohibits suites following neighbourhood concerns.

For the record, the public heard Monday that staff would have brought forward the idea of a covenant to address neighbourhood concerns.

Brad Cunnin, a spokesperson for Baidwan, said the covenant emerged out of discussions with Saanich staff and the neighbourhood.

“We are not seeking to be controversial,” he said. “People who are going to be buying these sorts of manor homes are not the kind of people who need a mortgage helper, and wouldn’t want to give up their privacy,” he said. “It costs nothing for us to offer that, and it gives the neighbours some assurance.”

While Plant acknowledged that the idea of the covenant came from the applicant himself, he also expressed concerns that it might set a precedent.

“As a councillor, I am a little uncomfortable creating pockets, where we covenant individual houses that say ‘you can’t have secondary suites,’ because of the fact that we do want to encourage residents to have legal secondary suites,” said Plant. “I recognize up on [Cordova Bay] Ridge, because I teach there, there are lots of secondary suites that are not legal, and there is nothing to say other than goodwill that this applicant could not see the same thing happening with the people who are buying those houses.”

While future residents are unlikely to have secondary suites, the issue of covenants against secondary suites nonetheless points to a larger principle, said Plant. “The land use should be the land use, not assuage neighbourhood concerns,” he said. “That being said, the applicant is happy to put it on, and the residents are happy this time, so I’m not going to hold it up, and I look forward to having this discussion at a public hearing.”

Future attendees will then have to consider a proposal that differs significantly from its initial shape. Consultations between the developer and the Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs dating back to 2014 first considered a sub-division of four lots. Subsequent consultations cut that number into half. The proposed lots would be 1,948 square-metres and 2,211 square-metres in size.

Plant said he is pleased that the developer has revised his proposal to win the support of the community. “The applicant has done a good job of consultation,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich offers free saplings to encourage residents to spruce up for National Tree Day

Giveaway to take place Sept. 21 in Glanford Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sooke RCMP searching for two people, reported missing on Sept. 10

Alannah Brooke Logan, 20, and Beau Richard Santuccione, 32, last seen on Otter Point Road

Victoria man plans 30-hour walk to raise funds for vulnerable youth

Take a Hike engages youth in intensive, clinical counselling and outdoor experiential learning

Opponent of proposed Sidney cannabis store calls on councillors to heed health authority advice

Council to consider revised application from Happy Buddha Cannabis on Sept. 28

New urgent, primary care health centre opens in Saanich come November

North Quadra area facility to provide same-day, ongoing care for folks without family doctors

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

Most Read