A petition against the residential portion of the Western Speedway development proposal is gaining traction on the West Shore.
The petition, titled Save Thetis Heights Neighbourhood, calls on Langford council to reject plans to extend Trudie Terrace. Organizers of the petition say the area is not designed to handle the development.
“The proposed RS1 small lot residences are in sharp contrast to the existing R2 residences. The development would dramatically increase traffic along the route Trudie Terrace, Rason Road, Gourman Place, Goldie Avenue, Bellamy Road and Treanor Avenue,” states the petition.
As of Feb. 25, the petition had received 119 signatures from residents.
“I’m fairly encouraged with the petition results so far. Barely a day old and we’re almost at 25 per cent of the target of 500 signatures. A lofty goal considering I think there aren’t more than 250 homes in Thetis Heights,” stated Gordon van den Broek, an organizer of the petition. “Hopefully that will rise when I hit the pavement this weekend to increase awareness.”
Van den Broek has lived on the corner of Trudie Terrace for 25 years and is concerned about losing the green space behind his home.
“Many residents are against removing these trees. They serve as a barrier to separate a residential area from a busy industrial area,” said van den Broek. “If houses are put where they are proposing, there will be no green space left at all.”
Two other online petitions have also been created to save Western Speedway, which have gained considerable awareness. One petition had about 6,800 virtual signatures as of Feb. 25, and the second having over 5,000.
However, plans for the development of Western Speedway lands are advancing, as a proposal to rezone the property was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee on Feb 8.
The application proposed that the southeastern portion of the land be rezoned to allow 60 residential single family homes, and the remaining portion, which is approximately 50 acres, be rezoned as a business park. The committee was all in favour of moving the motion forward to council.
“My hope is that we can save some of the trees and prevent the residential area from going in. I feel the R1 lots can go elsewhere on that property,” said van den Broek. “I think it’s a good cause, and I am sure the numbers of the petition will go up before the next council meeting.”
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