Plans for plaza don’t fit in with neighbourhood

Saanich council should send Cordova Bay Plaza developer back to drawing board

Last month former Victoria mayor Alan Lowe, in his architect’s rolled-up sleeves, brought his display boards to give us a sight of totally alarming schematic plans and elevations for the long awaited rework of Cordova Bay Plaza.

The development is not in tune with this area of calm and tranquility, and not in tune with a historic area, still used today for community events.  The old shade tree goes to the dump and that is just the start of it; alarming is not strong enough.

Besides being totally out of tune with community, I am very concerned as this plan offers an extraordinary glass and concrete four-plus storey ‘downtown approach’ smack in the centre of this historic low-scale community.  I’m afraid there is absolutely nothing suggesting this is a suitable addition to this sensitive Saanich neighbourhood.

Look at the scale of the impressive and much loved Cordova Bay Estates, right next door.  A perfect community for retirees and others who need the single-level townhomes.  They are single storey, with condos against the bank at the rear of the site. Most people have no idea there are condos in that development. But what is Saanich being offered with the plaza?  Four plus storeys of walls, with balconies and windows right up to the boundary and overlooking the serene, tranquil Cordova Bay Estates. And the plans then continue along Cordova Bay Road.

There is no excuse for this. It is wrong in every possible way. Saanich council must say no to this as soon as possible.

It is hard to believe anyone in the Saanich planning department would have given even one moment of encouragement to this project.  This is the puzzle Saanich council has to solve. The ‘70s zoning given to these lands was, even then, a very strange deal. However, today the owners are marching on with this zoning, and from the plans to date we have a major catastrophy on our hands.

I am concerned as a project manager and planner that in its current form Saanich has a disaster in the making. It also has a fight on its hands. There were and are many other ways to design within the current zoning.

I wholeheartedly support Saanich and the Cordova Bay Association in sending this proposal back to the drawing board, and even examining the possibility of the toughest of things, that is to change the present zoning.

Colin Millard

Saanich

 

Just Posted

War bride’s oversea voyage to Canada took a leap of faith

More than 45,000 women immigrated to Canada after the Second World War

One woman’s scrapbook uncovered at Fort Rodd Hill tells story of thousands during Second World War

Joyce Margaret Whitney served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps from 1942 to 1946

Hundreds mark Remembrance Day with ceremony at Saanich municipal hall

Revellers took in the ceremony, then went into the hall for coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies

Son of Second World War veteran returns to Norway to see site of rescue, repatriation

Six-man crew crash lands in Nazi occupied territory, only known instance of entire crew surviving

Colwood house helps homeless veterans get back on their feet

Cockrell House has helped more than 100 people since it was established in 2009

VIDEO: Pups in the pool: West Shore rec centre’s Dog Swim a success

West Shore Parks and Recreation goes to the dogs Sunday night

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Victoria Jazz Orchestra concert raises funds for the Single Parents’ Resource Centre

Maria Manna on tap for the Nov. 16 performance in Victoria

Renowned men’s chorus ‘Back by Popular Demand’ in Victoria

One of Canada’s premier singing ensembles kicks off its 39th season on Nov. 16

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Most Read