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Public to weigh in on Torquay Drive development in Saanich

Tenure of rental suites in 86-unit project too short, say two councillors
Rendering of the 86-unit development planned for 4096 Torquay Dr. at Shelbourne Street in Saanich. Council has forwarded the application to a public hearing. (Courtesy District of Saanich)

A development proposal that aims to densify the north part of the Shelbourne Valley is heading to a public hearing.

The five-storey, 86-unit project for 4096 Torquay Dr. at Shelbourne Street flew through discussions at council at the June 13 meeting, but some had concerns with the length of time rentals would be permitted for the property.

An agreed-to covenant that would need registering ahead of approval of the rezoning necessary and the development permit lists a requirement for a housing agreement to secure 22 of the units as market rentals for a period of no less than 15 years after occupancy.

Couns. Rebecca Mersereau and Colin Plant questioned the limited tenure, wondering why it wasn’t in perpetuity.

Staff said the comments would be passed along to the applicant before the public hearing, a date for which has not yet been announced.

The project application came to the district back in 2020 and includes two-floor townhomes at grade and single-floor units on the upper floors. The U-shaped development would replace eight townhomes on the property. It requires rezoning from RT-1 (attached housing) to RA-8 (apartment) and variances for height – the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan calls for three storeys in the Feltham village – and setbacks.

The covenant also requires all 111 of the underground parking spots to have at least Level 2 charging for electric vehicle use, and that the $387,000 ($4,500 per unit) community amenity contribution be directed to the Bowker Creek Restoration Fund, Saanich’s affordable housing fund, and a greenway enhancement fund before a building permit is issued.

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