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Old Moose Hall to be renewed

Central Saanich council read three final adoptions of amendment bylaws during their meeting on Monday night, two of which pertained to the old Moose Hall building just past the corner of East Saanich Road and Wallace Drive.

The building, one of the oldest in the area, is proposed to eventually house a retail antique business called the Old Attic.

The business owner applied to council some time ago to get approval for change of use and variance permits for the building, which has most recently housed non-profit organizations. It will still continue to house the daycare facility that runs out of the bottom level.

Permits for the adjustments to the building took so long because of the need to expand parking areas around the property.

“This is a unique situation in that this building doesn’t have parking because of how the areas around it have developed over the years,” said Mayor Alastair Bryson during Monday night’s meeting.

Plans now, along with adding a new ramp and front entrance to the building, are to create six parallel on-street parking spots in front of the building on East Saanich Road, a project which will include new curb and gutter, sidewalk and bike lanes.

“I can support this project on the basis of preserving the building,” said Councillor Adam Olsen during the meeting, adding that the improvements to that section of East Saanich Road will be welcome.

The business owner has proposed to pay for 49 per cent of the project with the other 51 per cent coming from an account the district has for improvement to East Saanich Road.

Mayor Alastair Bryson welcomed the change for several reasons and applauded the applicant, staff and council for being so patient with the process.

“It was a long process but it was worth it,” he said, adding that the property had been, for many years, non-taxable and now will be a tax paying business.

Councillor Zeb King excused himself from discussions on the project because of a conflict of interest regarding family members involved in the business.

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