The cemetary behind Knox Presbyterian Church will remain amidst development.

Knox seniors’ development gets go-ahead

A planned seniors assisted living development approved by Sooke council

A public hearing was held, for a zoning amendment for the proposed Knox Centre, at the regular District of Sooke council meeting on April 10. The proposed bylaw, Bylaw No. 518, Zoning Amendment Bylaw (500-2) would change the zoning to CD11 to allow expansion of residential uses to for an aging in place seniors’ residence.

The applicants are seeking to build 125 residential units for seniors and people with mobility or health issues. They want to also have the option to allow for various services such as a restaurant, educational space, church worship and service, administration, laundromat, and a variety of other personal services.

The public had the opportunity to provide input. While most were in favour of the development and saw it as a necessity for seniors who wished to age in place, some had concerns about traffic, parking and the height of the building. There were some comments about the fact that a through road should be put in connecting Anna Marie and Church Roads.

The developers originally asked for a maximum height of 20 metres but have since agreed to a maximum height of 15 metres with a maximum lot coverage of 50 per cent as opposed to the original request for 60 per cent lot coverage. Setbacks will also be deeper on the front and flanking lot lines.

The proponents agreed to a five metre right-of-way along the north property line connecting Anna Marie Road and Church Road, but a connecting road was not requested of the developers.

The developers are the Trustees of the Congregation of Knox Presbyterian Church.

Mayor Wendal Milne said he supported this project for a variety of reasons and that the group had made significant concessions.

“We should not hold the project to ransom,” said Milne. “We need to work with our neighbours on this.”

“If you want a growth industry – it’s seniors’ housing,” said Larry Rumsby. He did state that the infrastructure should be in place before getting too far along in the building construction.

Council considered the amendment, gave Bylaw No. 518 third reading and adopted it.

Bylaws:

Council rescinded first, second and third reading for Bylaw No. 391, Zoning Amendment Bylaw (270-53) for 2075 Otter Point Road. The developer did not wish to proceed with the rezoning.

Council adopted Bylaw No. 498 and 499, for 2139 Church Road. The property is being rezoned to Town Centre Residential Zone (RS-1) from Village Residential Zone (R-1), and entered into a 10-year phased development agreement.

District of Sooke council gave first and second reading to Bylaw No. 524, Zoning Amendment Bylaw (500-5) and will schedule a Public Hearing for the bylaw which will amend the Sooke Zoning Bylaw to allow secondary and small suites in all residentially zoned properties.