Keating corridor could create major job growth in Central Saanich

Industrial area could attract 3,000 more jobs in 25 years.

There is a mix of industrial and commercial operations along Central Saanich’s Keating corridor.

The Keating Business District is planning to bring in more people to the industrial area and could witness the creation of an estimated 3,470 jobs in a 25 year span — if a growth plan endorsed by the District of Central Saanich this month pans out.

District council endorsed this week a medium growth rate scenario for the Keating Business District, which focusses on creating additional available industrial development opportunities.

Senior Associate with Stantec Consulting Ltd. Mark Crisp, provided an update recently of the company’s work for the municipality. He took councillors through the company’s analysis of the area, including an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions.

He said Stantec asked local officials and the public about their priorities for the area. Economic considerations came out as the top priority for Keating, followed closely by environmental and then social issues.

Stantec took the results of their consultation process, including discussions with council, stakeholders and the public, and scored the priorities, based on their interpretation of the District’s Official Community Plan (OCP), policy documents and zoning and more. This, he said, was Stantec’s ‘strawman’ approach to looking at what scenarios looked better than the others.

The District will be able to use this information at any point in this process.

Crisp explained that if the District monitors progress year over year, they could re-score the approach — making it a living document, something they can use for as long as they want.

Crisp said Stantec has always considered their analysis in a broader context, not just from the local perspective, but from the perspective of growth in the Capital Regional District (CRD), the region and the province.

“This is particularly important when discussing things such as greenhouse gas impacts and … growth,” said Crisp.

Crisp said once the District develops an implementation strategy after the business case has been put together, his company wants to make sure they’re in a situation to advise the District on various things like policy, regulation, incentives, funding and more.

Based on Stantec’s analysis, Crisp said, the medium scenario shows the District a good growth performance along the Keating corridor.

He said what’s interesting is that the District’s existing OCP contemplates this kind of growth and supports it.

The data supplied to council will be made available to the public  on the District’s website, under the Keating Corridor Project file.