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Saanich to stick with Cadboro Bay draft local area plan

Council votes 6-3 to keep current draft local area plan, make minor refinements
Public feedback received through the most recent phase of engagement indicated neighbourhood opposition to densification. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)

The current Cadboro Bay draft local area plan will stand.

Council, sitting as committee-of-the-whole, voted 6-3 on Aug. 22 to keep the original draft plan – with minor adjustments based on community feedback.

After receiving input on the housing options presented, district staff proposed two alternatives to council: retain the current draft plan land use framework with minor refinements or continue exploring housing options for a broader range of incomes.

Coun. Susan Brice called a motion to retain the draft plan with minor adjustments as necessary, pointing to a lack of public support for housing forms greater than three storeys in the village centre, UVic edge and northeastern areas as indicated in the staff report.

Residents did, however, express an openness to a greater diversity of ground-oriented housing forms, according to the report.

READ MORE: More housing opportunities could be on horizon for Saanich’s Cadboro Bay Village

Mayor Fred Haynes seconded the motion and said adding density in Cadboro Bay wouldn’t necessarily bring affordable housing to the neighbourhood.

“What I have come to learn through this process is that land acquisition in Cadboro Bay, such that would allow the building of a multi-family home, would not generate affordability of supply,” he said. “It would generate supply. It would add diversity. But my fear is that it would be luxury supply, not at the intended market.”

Couns. Rebecca Mersereau, Zac de Vries and Ned Taylor opposed the adoption of the original draft plan – expressing concerns from a lack of sufficient information presented in the staff report to the necessity of purpose-built housing.

“Density belongs in already built-up areas near urban villages serviced by transit and amenities,” said Taylor, who stressed the desperate need for more diverse housing options. “Cadboro Bay, although not the most dense area within Saanich, is just that. It is an already built-up area which is supported by the village – serviced by transit, amenities, shops and everything that is needed to support increased density. If not here, then where?”

The draft plan is expected to be presented to council later this year. A five-year update will also allow a check-in point to assess housing needs as well as determine if building height and density limits should be increased at that time.

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Austin Westphal

About the Author: Austin Westphal

Austin Westphal is the newest member to join the Saanich News team.
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