Developer revises plan to reduce costs

To try to keep his costs down, developer Gary Lunn says he’s going back to square one on his property at 9395 East Saanich Road.

To try to keep his costs down, developer Gary Lunn says he’s going back to square one on his property at 9395 East Saanich Road.

Citing the cost of a planned sewer service expansion at the property, Lunn announced at the District of North Saanich’s Feb. 4 council meeting that he wants to revert to the original plans for the site. Those plans were presented to council in July, 2012. That means eliminating the lanes within the proposed development of up to 40 homes. That also means no access for laneway — or secondary — housing, something that Lunn had earlier indicated he wanted to drop as well.

Lunn said there were two options for extending sewer service to the property — the developers building and paying for it outright, or creating a local service area that would pay for it through a parcel tax over an extended time frame.

“We have chosen the first option,” Lunn said. “We will pay the cost of sewer service at the property. Eliminating the lanes reduces the costs.”

He indicated he also wants to keep the house prices at $400,000.

The estimated cost to provide municipal sewer service is $50,000 per lot.

As well, Lunn said he’ll be paying around $27,500 per lot for amenity fees negotiated with the district. Facing those added costs, Lunn said he was looking for other ways to keep the developers’ costs low.

“We are trying to move this project forward,” he said, “and we feel this is the best way to proceed.”

Reverting to an earlier design involves re-negotiating sewer costs, said Director of Planning and Community Services Mark Brodrick.

He noted staff were planning to meet with the developers to work out the details. He added the project remains in the planning stage with no need for further direction from council, as staff will rework an amenity deal and other details.

“Staff has approached this file as a priority,” Brodrick said, noting due to ongoing changes by both the developers and the council, the project has constantly been reworked.

Mayor Alice Finall noted that these changes along the way have led to added time on the file, but agreed with Councillor Craig Mearns that council favoured a non-laneway option.

New options and agreements will be presented to council following staff meeting with the developers.

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