Saanich green lit a five-storey, mixed-use development for the intersection of Gorge Road West and Tillicum Road after a Jan. 12 public hearing.
Council voted unanimously in favour of the 53-unit multi-family building with commercial spaces at the ground level for 300 Gorge Road West and 2900 Tillicum Road. The property, in the northwest corner of the intersection, is currently home to Il Greco – the property owner’s restaurant – and other businesses.
A very positive public hearing last night☆☆☆personally exciting- the emerging village. A blueprint for harmonious community.Saanich's hearty civic engagement process &local government we can create the Saanich we wish to see. @SpiritofSaanich @homesweethomeSaanich https://t.co/NOULSAUo8b
— Nathalie Chambers (@SpiritofSaanich) January 13, 2021
The applicant requested to rezone the land from C-2 general commercial zoning to C-2NC general commercial neighbourhood centre, and development variance permits (DVP) to allow unique building design, reduced setbacks, a height variance, reduced parking spaces and a use-variance to allow first-floor townhouse-like units along Arnot Road.
Alan Lowe, the architect and the applicant on behalf of the property owner, told council the goal is to consolidate the two properties for the development. The existing one-story building along Tillicum Road would be demolished to make way for the five-story building with underground parking and the two-story building along Gorge Road West will remain but upgraded to match the design of the new development.
He added that neighbourhood plans support mixed-use developments for the area and that townhouse-like units are planned for the Arnot Road frontage to align with the single-family homes on the street.
The development will feature 16 one-bedroom units, 36 two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit, along with electric vehicle and e-bike chargers, a green wall and protected sidewalks and bike lanes.
Coun. Nathalie Chambers, expressed excitement about the proposal calling it “the neighbourhood of the future.”
Coun. Karen Harper said despite concerns raised by some residents about the height of the building, the proposal was supportable because it was consistent with the Official Community Plan and the local area plans which recommend mixed-use developments for the area.
The variances were approved pending the registration of a covenant to ensure several conditions including that three parking stalls be equipped with Level-2 EV chargers and the building be conducive to future eco-friendly power and water heating systems.
Council also approved a condition that final reading of the zoning amendment bylaw and ratification of the variance permits will be withheld until a covenant is registered to ensure that the strata corporation would be blocked from prohibiting rentals in the building.