More than six months after making a presentation to the District of Central Saanich regarding the need for a new facility, the Central Saanich Boys and Girls Club is still looking for land in Brentwood Bay.
In May of this year, the group made a presentation to council during a committee meeting concerning the deterioration of their facility located behind the United Church in Brentwood.
The facility is in a state of major disrepair and needs major upgrades, but the property belonging to the United Church that the facility is on is also up for redevelopment in coming years.
As a result, the group is looking for a new location to build a modest facility, preferably somewhere in the heart of Brentwood, they said.
In a report presented in June, Central Saanich staff outlined four possibilities for relocation of the proposed 1,400 square foot facility.
All possible locations were centred around the piece of land which houses Pioneer Park, the library and cultural centre and the Centre for Active Living 55+.
Discussions between staff and council and a public hearing have taken place since.
In a move to clean up the zoning around the library and cultural centre area, a bylaw has been put in place to rezone the land to one type of zoning.
The land is currently a mixed bag of zoning which doesn’t follow any of the parcel boundaries, said Central Saanich Director of Planning Bruce Grieg.
“The zoning is a patchwork right now,” said Greig during a committee meeting on Nov. 12.
“It’s a mix of P1 general institution zoning, parking lot, multi family RM 1 and R2, road right of way, some P2. The rezoning bylaw would would make it all general institutional P1 zone which allows a range of things on it.”
Grieg noted the zoning clean up is something that has been needed for many years but has never happened.
“This is a clean up we knew we had to do but we never really had a catalyst for it until now,” he said.
The rezoning will make the process easier should the municipality come to an agreement with the Boys and Girls Club in the future on placing a facility on the land.
It would also allow the library or cultural centre to expand in the future without having to rezone the property.
The public hearing held Nov. 12 saw many neighbours of the property and other residents of Brentwood Bay come out to voice their opinions on the zoning change.
Resident Brad Watson, who lives on Lucille Drive which backs onto the land in question, started a petition to encourage council to keep the land (all municipally-owned public land) around the library as green space rather than rezoning it and potentially allowing the Boys and Girls Club to build on it.
“The proposed zoning change affects hundreds of families all over Brentwood Bay,” he said during the meeting, stressing his desire for maintaining the grassy areas around the library building.
Kate Mansell from the Boys and Girls Club was understanding of residents’ concerns but was firm in noting that locating the clubhouse in Brentwood Bay is necessary for the success of their programming.
“We’re committed to continuing to offer exemplary service to youth in our area but we’re also committed to being good neighbours,” she said, amidst suggestions from citizens to move the club to Saanichton.
“If we were to move to Saanichton none of our current youth would be able to come to our programs anymore since most of them walk from homes in Brentwood or from the Tsartlip reserve,” she said.
Council will consider the final reading of the bylaw to change the zoning on the land at their meeting on Dec. 2.
Fees for club to be waived
During their committee meeting on Nov. 25 where they considered grants-in-aid, Central Saanich Mayor Alastair Bryson made a motion to include the building and development permit fees and other associated municipal fees for the new structure should a piece of land be agreed upon on by council and the club. The motion passed with Councillor Zeb King in opposition.