Letter: Former Mayfair Lanes site needs density, says ex-Saanich councillor

A single low-density store on Douglas corridor is poor land use, says former councillor

The site of the old Mayfair Lanes bowling alley has sat empty and silent since 2005.

It is an important piece of property, situated between the two busiest transportation corridors in the region ( the TCH and Blanshard Street ) and identified in Saanich’s OCP as areas for increased density.

A few years ago when I was on Saanich Council, two planners from Loblaws in Toronto came out to discuss the future of the site.

I tried to convince them to not only build their Superstore, but to increase the density by adding maybe a couple of floors of office space above the store, and up to eight storeys of residential units.

Their answer was that the company was only interested in a single-store configuration for that site, and so it sits to this day.

Unfortunately, before I was elected to Saanich Council in 2008, a previous Council granted Loblaws a Development Permit for the site, meaning that future Councils could place few restrictions on the development, so Loblaws would be quite within their rights to build a store which would allow minor revisions to parking and siting only.

Land cost is the single most expensive component of any construction, whether residential, commercial or industrial, and a single low-density store on that site is poor land use.

The Douglas Street corridor is being upgraded for rapid bus use, with the prospect of LRT in the future. We need more commercial and residential density built on our major transportation corridors, for sustainability, vibrancy and to combat sprawl.

There are many low-density sites on Douglas Street in Saanich and Victoria, and I hope that both municipalities start to implement the policies and guidelines set out in their respective OCP’s and the Regional Growth Strategy that pertain to land use and transportation connectivity.

Paul GerrardSaanich Councillor, 2008-2014

 

Just Posted

Saanich resident to carry NDP banner against local MP Elizabeth May

Sabine Singh will accept nomination Saturday at Saanich Commonwealth Place

Province invests $2.7 million in Indigenous teacher education training

Money to go towards teacher spots and Indigenous teaching practices

Canucks host pre-season game, training camp in Victoria

Practices to be open to the public; Game against Calgary Flames set for Sept. 16

Province promises July policy changes to help break cycle of poverty in B.C.

Families providing room and board to kin will no longer be financially penalized

Victoria seventh most youth-friendly Canadian city: national index

B.C. capital tops YouthfulCities’ education and creative arts categories

BREAKING: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Police make arrest after report of a man brandishing a gun at Campbell River-area lake

43-year-old man from the Comox area has since been charged with multiple offences

B.C. high school withdraws notices for temporary dress code

Parents previously told the Interior News they felt there was inadequate consultation over the rules

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Mini-horse visits residents at Lower Mainland care home

Gunner turned a visit with grandpa into a major event for everyone at the residence

Most Read