Improved sidewalks. More trees. Higher density and more diverse forms of housing that allow aging in place. Expanded services.
These were some of the ideas that emerged from a public design charrette held late last month as Saanich continues to update the local area plan for Cadboro Bay.
The Cadboro Bay Design Charrette unfolded over two days. On Tuesday, June 19, some 40 individuals joined planning staff and outside consultants on a walking tour through Cadboro Village and its immediate area. What followed was an intense design workshop, during which participants with outside help translated their ideas into visual representations. They then received a public presentation on Wednesday, June 20.
“I thought it was generally positive,” said Cameron Scott, Saanich’s manager of community planning, when asked about the response of the public towards the presentation.
Overall, the presentation captured and condensed ideas gathered during the walking tour and the discussions that took place during the design workshop.
Scott said the walking tour focused on the attributes, but also the challenges of Cadboro Bay Village, the commercial heart of Cadboro Bay.
Participants valued the village’s current character as a social hub, its green features and its proximity to the beach at Cadboro-Gyro Park. Challenges include among others walkability and the need for additional services, including but not exclusively medical services. Scott said participants also highlighted connectivity issues around Sinclair Road.
Residents have become increasingly concerned about safety issues along the road, which runs up and down a steep hill in connecting the village with the University of Victoria.
The design workshop then organized itself along five themes: land use and future development; parks and open spaces; getting around; streetscape; and the village core.
The final presentation itself called on decision makers to maintain the local character of the village through building form and character, but lessen its current reliance on vehicles, improve connectivity within the village and with the rest of Saanich, enhance locals streetscapes with the help of additional trees and vegetation, but also architectural features, increase residential density, expand commercial offerings and create a central plaza to serve as a gathering space.
The process of updating the local area will continue, with Saanich soliciting additional public feedback in the fall on issues that affect the larger neighbourhood.