North Saanich tackles dense housing projects

Two multi-density housing developments one step closer to becoming realized

Two multi-density housing developments are one step closer to becoming realized in North Saanich.

A proposed development at 1950 John Rd., which had been approved by the previous council in 2011 and then retracted by the developer, got the go-ahead on Aug. 20 to move to the planning and public consultation processes.

A planned development at 9395 East Saanich Rd., which council, at the same meeting, unanimously agreed needed another look by staff, will come back to council, likely at their next meeting, Coun. Celia Stock said.

“Staff will come back to us with recommendations on the topics of the final plans for the project and the amenity contribution plan,” Stock said.

“Presumably the developer will also provide a new plan and [will] have also moved ahead with a time and date to meet with residents,” she said, noting council had not been provided an up-to-date plan on what the John Road development would look like after the developer changed the plan from one 11-unit building to two 11-unit buildings.

Talk of multi-density housing and workplace housing in North Saanich have been heating up the council chambers since early 2012 and have not yet been resolved.

The issue of workplace housing was raised by several local industries in West Sidney earlier this year. Representatives from the industrial park, including Ramsay Machine Works and Scott Plastics, told council the single biggest challenge to their businesses’ success is the difficulty in finding and keeping skilled labour.

Affordability is the key factor, said Robin Richardson of Scott Plastics, who is keen to increase the stock of affordable or attainable workforce housing on the Peninsula. Richardson said among 12 of the biggest industrial companies west of the Pat Bay, just 25 per cent of their employees live in North Saanich or Sidney.

“Seventy-five million dollars of payroll leaves the Peninsula every day. Think about the potential of impact a percentage of this could have on North Saanich and Sidney businesses,” he said in a earlier interview with the Peninsula News Review.

One of the main stumbling blocks for council to allow for more multi-density developments that would sustain industry workers, like the developments proposed on John and East Saanich roads, is the lack of an official amenity contribution plan for such developments, Stock explained.

“The issue in North Saanich is that we’ve never really had any reason to look at amenity contribution plans for multi-density developments because we haven’t really had any applications to build them,” she said. “What we need is a policy that would be flexible to the needs of North Saanich.”

In municipalities like Langford and Colwood, set amenity plans help the town work with developers to ensure certain needs are met when a development is built. Common amenity plans include things like dedicated green or community space within a development, units within the development being set aside as affordable housing or cash-in-lieu to the municipality.

In North Saanich, it is likely that an amenity plan would include stipulations on the affordability of a portion of the multi-density units in order to ensure they were kept as affordable housing, Stock said.

North Saanich council meets next on Sept. 10.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula plugs into EV ownership

Sidney and Central Saanich record the second and third-highest EV ownership rate per 1,000 residents

PHOTOS: Kids, parents cool off at Langford splash park

Centennial Park is home to a popular water feature

Colwood man to ride 400 kilometres to fight kids cancer

Man riding for a beloved family member who died from leukemia at 13-years-old

Saanich woman completes 10 marathons, raises double her initial goal amount

Over $20,000 raised for Victoria Hospitals Foundation

UPDATED: Missing 25-year-old Saanich woman found Saturday

Yuhan Jin thought to be travelling by foot or bus, carrying two suitcases

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Most Read