Illustration of the proposed Cordova Bay shopping centre and condo buildings, looking from a redesigned Cordova Bay Road. Image from Alan Lowe Architect

LETTER: Proposal for Cordova Bay Plaza not approved yet

“Residents of Saanich need to know all the details with regards to this project as if approved, the ramifications will be wide spread”

I would like to provide comment on your article regarding the Cordova Bay Plaza (Saanich News, Jan. 19),

The article indicates that Saanich Planning has approved the project. This is incorrect. Saanich planning makes recommendations on development proposals for Council to consider. Ultimately, it is mayor and council who either approve or reject the proposal.

I would also like to point out that the proposal as currently presented is vastly different than what was originally approved in the development permit back in 1998. The architect for the project at the time, Mr. Alan Lowe, is the same for the current proposal. At the Council meeting in 1998, Mr. Lowe is on record as stating that he was aware of the Cordova Bay Village development permit area guidelines, and that his project was designed to meet the 7.5 metre height restriction. Nothing within the DPA guidelines has changed, so why after being reminded of the 7.5 metre height restriction in a letter to him from Saanich Planning has he continued to promote this project as being appropriate?

The C3 zoning designation which applies to the subject lands, allows building heights up to 15 metres with a density of up to 1.2 FSR. However, as the DPA guidelines indicate that the maximum building height cannot exceed 7.5 metres. The wording of the zoning indicates flexibility with the conditions to comply with DPA guidelines as it does not state that building must be a specific height.

The Planning Department promotes their opinion that the Official Community Plan is a more contemporary document, and therefore overrules the LAP and DPA guidelines. The OCP is Appendix A of the document “Sustainable Saanich” Appendices B through M are the various community Local Area Plans, with Appendix N being the Development Permit Area guidelines. All appendices were adopted as Bylaw #8940 in July of 2008, therefore they carry the same effective date.

Appendix A – the Official Community Plan, provides information in broad strokes, as to the vision of Saanich for the future. The OCP specifically directs the reader to the LAP’s and DPA guidelines for specific conditions and restrictions unique to each community. The LAP’s and DPA guidelines were developed after extensive and intensive consultation with members of all communities which they represent.

This raises a very important question. Why is Saanich embarking on an expensive and time consuming course to revise all 12 of the Local Area Plans, if at a later date, the contents can be dismissed in favour of outside opinion? If the OCP does in fact override the conditions contained within the LAP and DPA guidelines, what is the need to go through the process to revise them?

No one will disagree that the Plaza is long overdue for replacement. However, any design proposal must meet the needs of the community and also comply with the current regulations in effect.

The outcome of this project will have effects beyond Cordova Bay itself. It will tell developers that anything goes, that restrictions and expectations contained within LAP’s and DPA guidelines can be ignored anywhere in Saanich.

It is my opinion that clarification of items within the recent Saanich News article on the plaza need to be made. The article gives the reader the impression that the plaza design has been approved in its current form. The residents of Saanich need to know all the details with regards to this project as if approved, the ramifications will be wide spread.

Thank you for your consideration of the information which I have provided you and look forward to a follow up article which provides more details of the issues surrounding this project.

Steve Corner

Saanich

Just Posted

UPDATED: Bail conditions released for Esquimalt man facing multiple sexual assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Victoria police seize over one kilo of fentanyl, guns and cars

Andrew Ritch is facing charges of drug trafficking and firearm offences

UPDATE: Missing Langford teen found safe

The 13-year-old Langford boy reported missing Wednesday has been found

Tour de Victoria rolls through the region Saturday

Expect traffic delays across Greater Victoria on Aug. 18

Fire chief stops driving lesson to fight fire

Sooke fire concerned over second suspicious bin fire this year

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read