Four tall towers coming to a neighbourhood near you?
Langford Gateway Development has submitted a rezoning and development permit application to build 22- and 18-storey towers on properties the company purchased on Arncote Avenue, Peatt and Sunderland roads. The project, which would be built in two phases, includes retail space and a daycare.
Meanwhile, Jagpal Development has submitted applications for Langford Central, a nearby development proposal between Peatt and Scafe roads that calls for 269 homes in a 24-storey tower and 271 more in a separate 18-storey building. A four-storey parking podium for the two buildings would include commercial office and retail space as well as a daycare.
Rick Cuthbert, a Sunderland Road resident for the past 10 years, has major concerns with the size and density of the projects.
He objected to a proposal for two 12-storey towers that was turned down by Langford council several years ago.
“Then they came back with two six-storey towers a couple of years ago and Langford decided it was too dense and not right for the area, and now they’ve doubled down with this project,” Cuthbert said. “Why are they considering something now more than double the size of what was rejected twice in the past?”
|The proposed Langford Central residential project between Peatt and Scafe roads calls for residential towers of 24 and 18 storeys and a total of 540 homes. A related development just over a block north proposes towers of 22 and 18 storeys. (Rendering courtesy Evantra Development)|
A petition he started has so far been signed by about 30 people in the neighbourhood who share his concerns about density and traffic.
“I’ve spoken to lots of people that want to see development there, but this is way too tall and way too dense,” he said. “ The traffic is already bad on Peatt Road and this would add another 300-plus cars. Parking is already an extreme issue in this neighbourhood. We think this is an incredibly insane development for this area and want council to know when this comes forward for review to be prepared for another round of opposition.”
Langford Mayor Stew Young said he has always supported density in the downtown core.
Council weighs each application they see based on height, daycare availability and commercial investment to ensure the creation of more jobs downtown, he said.
“Anything over six storeys makes it more affordable,” Young said. “We want to see condos go higher because we’re in the middle of an affordable housing crisis. No one can afford a single-family home and going higher with affordable condos are part of the solution to make our community more affordable. Building condos in the $350,000 to $550,000 range is better than building six-storey rentals. It maximizes the use of the land, and this way seniors and first-time buyers can get into the market.”
He acknowledged that not everyone will like the transition of the area, he added.
“We’re seeing a lot of homes in the area sold for development purposes. We have enough services and employment with new businesses coming in every day. We’re planning for the future and six-storey rentals won’t do it. We want to put in high density where you don’t need to own a car to live here.”
While both projects are still early in the application process, a spokesperson said the goal is for the homes affordable to be suitable for first-time buyers, and for the projects to create more attainable housing options in Langford.
Matthew Moradian, vice-president of Evantra Development Corp., which is handling development and marketing for both projects, said in an email the project teams for each look forward to engaging with the community and opening discussion about creating new forms of affordable homes in Langford.
Langford director of planning Matthew Baldwin projects that the rezoning application will be on the agenda for the city’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee meeting Sept. 27, and could be presented to council at its regular meeting Oct. 4.