A rendering shows what the Doral Forest Park development would look like from the southwest. (Rendering via D’AMBROSIO Architecture & Urbanism)

A rendering shows what the Doral Forest Park development would look like from the southwest. (Rendering via D’AMBROSIO Architecture & Urbanism)

Saanich sends 11-storey proposal to public hearing despite criticism from residents

Concerns raised about housing development abutting Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park

An 11-storey building proposed for Saanich’s Royal Oak neighbourhood has been sent to a public hearing despite criticism from residents.

On Dec. 14, Saanich council reviewed an application from Doral Developments Ltd. to develop a 1.24-hectare property at 4734, 4744 and 4754 Elk Lake Dr. – abutting Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park on the edge of the Urban Containment Boundary.

The complex would include 242 units in two buildings – 43 to be sold for 15 per cent below market value – over an underground parkade. Various development variance permits were requested for items including parking, height, siting and width.

READ ALSO: New report highlights need for diverse, affordable housing in Saanich

Residents and both the Falaise Community Association and the Royal Oak Community Association (ROCA) voiced concerns about the proposed development’s height, proximity to the park and noise impacts. At 11-stories, the development would exceed the current four-storey limit outlined in the Official Community Plan and, per a staff report, a covenant on the property limits developments to 98 units.

ROCA president Roger Graham wrote that “any development that greatly exceeds the currently allowed density and scale would be a significant detriment to the neighbourhood.”

Council voted 7-2 in favour of moving to a public hearing. Mayor Fred Haynes said council is trying to balance the current housing needs of the municipality with dated policies and neighbourhood history.

The density and height were alarming to some but “it’s only by going high that was can get people living and playing in Saanich,” Haynes said. The proposed development would bring housing to an area with transit routes and shopping centres.

Couns. Nathalie Chambers and Judy Brownoff voted against moving to a public hearing. Chambers felt with the critique from residents, it was “outlandish” that the vote passed. She voiced concerns about increased density along the border of the Urban Containment Boundary and the potential for residents parking at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park.

“Bringing the density onto the doorstep of a park is not a good idea,” she told Black Press Media.

Haynes emphasized that sending the proposal to a public hearing doesn’t mean it’s approved, rather that the majority of council felt “it met the technical requirements” for a more fulsome discussion.

No date has been set for the public hearing.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

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

Just Posted

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

A fire sparked at an encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue early Thursday morning. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Residents of Pat Bay Highway encampment to be relocated after early morning fire, site secured for clean up

Eviction notice issued in 2020, not enforced to allow BC Housing to connect with campers

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read