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.

Just Posted

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Tsawout hosts Saanich Peninsula community leaders at blanket ceremony

Reconciliation event meant to share the Indigenous exerience

Amazing Race Canada kicks off at Hatley Castle

Popular reality TV show will premiere later this year

WATCH:First responders score first, take inaugural Challenge Cup in Oak Bay

Ice hockey game raises funds for Cops for Cancer, encourages positive interaction with youth

LGBTQ advocates turn Victoria SOGI protest into dance party

Counter-protest outnumbers anti-SOGI activists on lawn of B.C. legislature

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Scooter crash leaves Island man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Most Read