The Cordova Bay plaza redevelopment as approved in January of 2018. (Alan Lowe Architecture) The Cordova Bay plaza redevelopment as approved in January of 2018. (Alan Lowe Architecture)

Saanich didn’t follow process, says petition

Court hears petition over Cordova Bay plaza redevelopment

Saanich council cannot approve development variances beyond the existing official community plan, according to the results of a court-heard petition that questioned the January 2018 approval of the Cordova Bay plaza.

The District of Saanich faces no penalty or consequence regarding the manner, aside from the legal cost of receiving the petition in court, but is reminded that all development permits are restricted to conform with the official community plan, as cited in bylaw 478(2) of B.C.’s local government act.

Read More: Saanich approves long-awaited Cordova Bay plaza proposal

Read Also: New development would breathe life into aging Cordova Bay Plaza

The court petition was filed by David Busch, of Pearlman Lindholm, representing Cordova Bay residents Derek Hopkins and Karl Doetsch in March. It came following the Jan. 30 decision by Saanich council to approve the plaza redevelopment with 91 residential units on the top three floors of three four-storey buildings. Designed by architect Alan Lowe, each building will have retail on the ground floor, including a proposed grocery store, restaurant and bank, and 324 parking spots (surface and underground). It’s a total of 46,797 square feet in floor space, with a footprint covering 37 per cent of the 38,900 square-foot lot.

However, the development faced a spirited opposition with about 170 letters written to council against the design. Chief among the concerns was the 15-metre, four-storey height of the building, despite the previous application (from 1998) that was only 7.5m, which opponents said conforms with Cordova Bay’s local area plan. (Saanich is currently amid a public consultation period to redesign the Cordova Bay’s local area plan with a workshop as recently as Dec. 3 at Claremont.)

What the court hearing established, Busch said, is that Saanich can’t approve variances for zoning that are inconsistent with the official community plan.

Initially the petition cited both the developer and owner as at fault but was amended to exclude them (around August) when the petitioners recognized the delays and financial penalties that would come from that.

Related: Human bones found on Cadboro Bay construction site

“[My clients] chose to have a proactive approach,” said Busch. “As much as they didn’t want to see the development go ahead, they said, ‘let’s move forwards and make sure Saanich doesn’t do this again.’”

Busch pointed out that the architect, Alan Lowe, had designed the plaza’s original redevelopment in 1998 at a height of 7.5 metres.

In a statement through spokesperson Megan Catalano, Saanich said the court order restated the language of section 478(2) of the local government act. “Second, by consent of the parties (including the petitioners), the court order strikes out all portions of the petition, and all portions of the petitioner’s affidavit, that alleged any wrongdoing on the part of Saanich.”

The former Cordova Bay Plaza, constructed as the Seaview Shopping Centre by George McMorran in 1960, is now gone with a foundation for the new centre underway.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Greater Victoria liquor stores see spike in sales amidst COVID-19

Customers are buying go-to products in larger quantities

Spring shift in service includes no weekend late night bus services in Greater Victoria

Annual shift into spring sees additional decrease in frequency on multiple routes

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

UVic Vikes new basketball coach on the fast track

At 26, Shalie Dheensaw assumed head coaching role

Excess activity damaging Saanich golf course – despite being closed

Cedar Hill Golf Course manager reminds people of the 170 parks available in Saanich

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Nanaimo man arrested after allegedly setting house fire

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road in Cedar on Thursday

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Most Read