Limona Construction Ltd. (Limona) has applied to the District of Saanich to rezone and subdivide the property at 4590 Lochside Drive into 12 lots. BARA’s brief to Saanich opposing the application is posted below.
If Limona’s application is approved, it will construct a house on each lot and every house will have a secondary suite. That means there will be 24 housing ‘units’ on the property. Every house will have a single-car garage and short driveways suitable for parking no more than two cars.
The BARA Board met with Limona for the first time on February 25 during which Limona outlined some minor revisions to its application. The changes do not address the major issues raised by various municipal departments, including Planning, Parks, and Engineering nor do they deal with the most important community concerns.
BARA understands that Limona will make no further changes. The next step is for Saanich Council to review Limona’s application. BARA has asked Saanich to inform us of the date it will appear before Council. so that BARA may make a representation to Council opposing the application.
Member Comments about the Development
This project will have several negative impacts on the Lochside Trail. As one member wrote to us, “The developers who want to build on this land are in conflict with the Lochside Trail which is heavily used by walkers, runners, and cyclists.”
Many were concerned about Lochside Elementary School students as there will be more vehicular traffic on Lochside Drive.
“Saanich does not do enough to ensure the safety of the students as it is. We walk to and from school daily and witness many violations and a constant disregard for the school speed zone. Add in school buses and the possibility of the proposed city bus additional route to Lochside Drive, and it’s just going to get busier.”
Other member concerns:
- The loss of green space (against a “preserve as many trees as possible” ethic which ruled the original development and continued approach of Broadmead. (This development could best be described as a “clear cut” operation.)
- The architectural inconsistency with the surrounding communities (Broadmead, Sunnymead, Cordova Bay, and the Blenkinsop Valley).
- The increased pressure this development may create to rezone nearby agricultural properties.
The Development’s Background
In 2009, Saanich Council rejected Limona’s proposal to subdivide the property into six lots. Limona had originally proposed an eight-lot subdivision, but reduced the number of lots in response to community concerns.
Saanich Council to Decide
Unlike 2009, the current Council leans more towards accepting development projects that will add “affordable housing” to the community. Unfortunately, the label “affordable” seems to be applied to any development that adds housing stock.
We hope that this does not become a panacea that would lead some members of Council to approve almost any project regardless of its merits with respect to issues such as transportation, sustainability, the need to protect and expand cycling infrastructure, the preservation of public spaces, and ecological sensitivity.
If Planning asks us to comment on a substantially revised project, we will post this new information and seek your input. If you would like to receive updates, , please contact us at: PresidentBARA@gmail.com