A rendering shows the view of the proposed 59-unit condo building on Raymond Street South. (Image via Koka Architecture and Design Inc.)

A rendering shows the view of the proposed 59-unit condo building on Raymond Street South. (Image via Koka Architecture and Design Inc.)

Controversial condos rejected by Saanich council in tight vote

Raymond Street South proposal opposed by residents wanting to preserve public assembly zoning

A six-storey apartment building proposed for Raymond Street South in Saanich was rejected by council in a close vote.

On March 22, council debated the merits of a 59-unit housing development planned for 3656 Raymond St. South before voting 5-4 to reject the application. Couns. Rebecca Mersereau, Ned Taylor, Zac de Vries and Karen Harper were opposed.

Abstract Developments bought the property in 2016 and, in order to build the desired six-storey building, later applied to rezone the property to RA-11 (apartment) Zone from P-1 (public assembly) Zone. The proposal came to council twice in 2020 before being sent to public hearing on March 16.

READ ALSO: Need for childcare butts heads with proposed six-storey building in Saanich

“The main reason I am unable to support (the development) is because of community fit,” said Coun. Colin Plant. He noted that the application was worth considering, but he was concerned when the Mount View Colquitz Community Association and numerous residents voiced opposition.

A total of 61 speakers weighed in at the public hearing. Opponents raised concerns about the loss of public assembly zoning and the existing daycare, among other issues, while supporters noted the development would bring community benefits and increased density to an appropriate area.

In Plant’s view, the benefits and amenities didn’t outweigh the concerns, but others disagreed.

“If not here, then where?” Mersereau asked, noting the location suited increased density and would allow residents to bike or bus where they needed to go.

READ ALSO: Saanich council defers decision on controversial condo development after five-hour public hearing

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said the decision was tough, adding that this was “the perfect building in the wrong location.” While council is working to bring more housing to the region, the neighbourhood opposition was too great to approve this proposal, he said, noting he’s hopeful Abstract will bring forward a new proposal.

Mike Miller, CEO and founder of Abstract, said his team was disappointed but acknowledged that “rezoning is a privilege, not a right.” He remains optimistic that a reconfigured plan can be brought to council but couldn’t speculate what that may look like – though he said it’s unlikely his team will completely start over as the rejected application was three years in the making.

Scott Laming, a Raymond Street resident who opposed the rezoning, said many neighbours were pleased to see the project rejected as it wasn’t welcomed in its current form.

He hopes residents will be able to contribute to “a solution that is satisfactory for the needs of the neighbourhood, (Saanich) and the developer.”


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

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

developmentDistrict of SaanichHousing

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

Just Posted

Sooke plans to begin construction of the $4.9-million Church Road corridor project this summer. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke hopes to start Church Road Corridor project this summer

Road upgrade includes a roundabout, sidewalks, bike lanes and boulevards

The site of the proposed rental housing development at 2197 Otter Point Rd. (District of Sooke)
District of Sooke approves development with 77 rental units

New parking lot for John Phillips Memorial Park included in project

Traffic is backed up due to a crash on Highway 1. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)
Traffic backs up on Highway 1 westbound in View Royal after crash

First responders are reportedly on the scene in View Royal

Police are looking for the driver of this truck after it nearly hit a group of kids in Esquimalt on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Police)
Victoria police looking for driver of truck that nearly missed kids before crashing in Esquimalt

The truck’s driver, a man, fled the scene after the truck crashed into a house’s fence

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Driver stopped on Pat Bay Highway after road rage reports fails breathalyzer test: police

Several witnesses reported driver to Saanich police, school officer intercepted

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read