Builder amendments questioned

Canora Mews developer seeks minor changes to permit

Developers of new homes at 9395 East Saanich (known as Canora Mews) have permission to extend the eaves of the new structures half-a-foot and to apply building height limits as measured from completed grade work.

The amendments, however, didn’t get by North Saanich council without debate that has become typical of this and other development in the municipality.

Councillor Elsie McMurphy asked why the grade of the property was going to be approximately one meter higher, thus requiring a development permit amendment.

Chief administrative officer Rob Buchan replied that the developers need to bring in fill to level the property. Director of Infrastructure Service Patrick O’Reilly said it’s needed to create better drainage flow off of the property.

“Why are they only noticing this now?” McMurphy asked. “Isn’t it a basic planning need that should have been noticed at the start?”

O’Reilly said the engineering documents weren’t complete until recently, adding that in his experience, this is normal.

Mayor Alice Finall asked if the change to the size of the eaves was really necessary, or if it was a design matter. Buchan said it is a design change to the houses, but minor in nature.

The mayor also asked about parking in the area, wondering if it’s adequate. Buchan said the project complies with the District’s own guidelines on parking.

Buchan did suggest, however, that since this is the first real development in a long time, staff would review parking issues once the project is built and occupied.

Council approved the amendments in a 5-1 vote (Finall opposed).