Concerns raised about a six-storey building on Goldstream Avenue have heightened with news the developer is purchasing adjacent properties.
Fairway Avenue resident J. Scott, and David Winter, who lives next to the proposed development at 641 Goldstream Ave., say word that the proponent, DB Services of Victoria, has purchased properties adjacent to the proposal has added to their concerns with the original proposal.
Scott and Winter were two of about 15 people who questioned elements of the original proposal at a Langford planning, zoning and affordable housing committee meeting in May for a 25-unit complex with a commercial component.
Scott presented a letter detailing concerns about traffic, safety, parking and density, as well as a petition signed by 26 people in the area who believe the project is too tall in scope for the neighborhood.
More people would have been at the meeting on May 27 if it had begun at 7 p.m. instead of 5:30, Scott said, adding that the timing made it difficult for working people to attend. “I don’t think they’re paying attention, I felt we weren’t heard.”
Winter said the number of people who signed the petition has doubled since the May 27 meeting, many of them residents of the four-storey building he lives in next to the property that is a mix of renters and owners. “We’re not against development in this neighbourhood, but it should be within scale,” Winter said.
Scott pointed out that none of the buildings on Goldstream Avenue in that area exceeds four storeys. “The other side of Goldstream, on the other side of Veterans Memorial Parkway, has the density of taller buildings, but on our side of Goldstream buildings do not exceed four storeys in height.
“Now that the developer is buying more adjacent properties, our concerns about safety and traffic and retaining the feel of the neighbourhood are amplified,” Scott said.
Matthew McKay, development manager for DB Services, which is designing and building on behalf of the property owner, said the public hearing for the original plan is now on hold because of the recent purchase of more land adjacent to the property.
“We are investigating whether we will increase the size,” he said. “I can’t comment at this time as to whether we are going to add height. There’s a big jump in costs when you go higher.” He could not say when a new proposal would be submitted to Langford.
McKay said he advised the residents during the original planning, zoning and affordable housing committee meeting that concerns about trades parking on Fairway Avenue during construction would be addressed, and other feedback from people at that meeting would be incorporated into the next planning, zoning and affordable housing committee meeting.
“We recognize that it can be unsettling for residents in that area,” he noted. “We are trying to enhance the neighbourhood within the guidelines the City has established. Six storeys fits nicely within the OCP and Langford’s vision for the area.”
DB Services has completed 12 apartment buildings within Langford’s core in the past nine years, he noted. “We believe in livable, walkable communities that serve the needs of all. We’re here to invest in the community in the long term.”
Coun. Denise Blackwell, chair of Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee, said she could not comment until she’s had the opportunity to see what revisions DB Services submits to the committee.