An artist’s rendition of the development planned for 1002 Pandora Ave.

An artist’s rendition of the development planned for 1002 Pandora Ave.

Traffic concerns mar development plan

BlueSky Properties is looking to build a four- to six-storey mixed use building at 1002 Pandora Ave.

A proposal to redevelop St. Andrew’s elementary school land has come a long way in the past year, but nearby residents are still concerned about traffic flow and pedestrian access.

Vancouver-based BlueSky Properties is looking to build a four- to six-storey mixed use building at 1002 Pandora Ave., on the northeast corner of Vancouver Street. The current proposal calls for 211 residential units and about 4,500 square metres of retail space.

Since first coming to council in January 2013, the developer has put in “a lot of work” to address community concerns: decreasing height on Mason Street to four storeys and including a cycling lane along Vancouver Street, said Tim Hewett, North Park Neighbourhood Association president.

“We’re not shy of development, but we want to make sure it’s done in the right way and that it represents community use and values,” Hewett said.

In 2010, Island Catholic Schools announced it was consolidating three elementary schools into two, by relocating students and staff from St. Andrew’s to St. Joseph’s elementary in Saanich or St. Patrick’s elementary near Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Since its first proposal for the former school land, BlueSky representatives have twice met with North Park residents to garner design input.

“One big thing for us is permeability, creating accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists, rather than degrading Vancouver and Mason streets with more traffic flow,” Hewett said.

The current proposal moves underground parking access from Pandora Street to Mason Street. With a large portion of commercial space earmarked for a grocery store, traffic could become a big problem on the residential street, Hewett said.

On Thursday, Victoria’s planning and land use committee voted to move the St. Andrew’s application to public hearing after a four-hour discussion.

Hewett applauded council and the developer for responding to community concerns throughout the process, but said the project isn’t perfect yet.

“Neighbourhood associations, we’re all volunteer. It’s frustrating when we put efforts in and nothing is done, but it’s encouraging when we put in these requests and we see results. The developers really have come a long way. So we’ll see how this next process goes.”

Council still needs to approve the development and rezoning application for public hearing at an upcoming council meeting.

 

 

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

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read