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Public hearing scheduled for Saanich condos opposed by neighbours rallying to preserve daycare

Proposal includes 59-units, six-storeys at 3656 Raymond St. South
Scott Laming and his neighbours have rallied to save the childcare facility located on the site of a proposed housing development on Raymond Street South. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich residents hoping to weigh in on a six-storey development proposed for Raymond Street South can have their say on March 16 at 7 p.m.

A public hearing has been scheduled for a 59-unit, multi-family development being considered for 3656 Raymond St. South – the site of an existing childcare facility that some residents are rallying to preserve.

Abstract Developments has applied to rezone the property from P-1 (public assembly) Zone to RA-11 (apartment) Zone. Variances for setback and parking are also requested.

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Council first considered the application in June 2020 but sent it back for revisions. An amended plan was received that September, at which time council agreed it was ready for a public hearing.

Residents of Raymond Street South and the neighbouring area have expressed concerns about the development as it would result in the loss of a long-standing daycare facility. In November 2020, resident Scott Laming told Black Press Media that the neighbourhood isn’t opposed to development, but rather to trading childcare for housing – especially because Saanich’s 2020 childcare study highlighted that the region’s daycare demands aren’t being met.

Correspondence already submitted to council from residents included numerous mentions of concern regarding the loss of the existing daycare and the inevitable increase in vehicle traffic on the dead-end road should the development proceed.

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However, others voiced support for the proposal, noting that its proximity to the Galloping Goose Trail and various bus routes would permit residents to work and play without dependence on vehicles.

The Mount View Colquitz Community Association has also expressed opposition to the proposal – citing the loss of affordable childcare, the size of the development and the failure to consult the community among its reasons for resisting the project.

Those wanting to speak during the electronic public hearing must register by noon on March 16 by emailing or calling 250-475-5501.

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