Feb. 14 is shaping up to be a key day for the future of the Marigold development in Central Saanich.
That is when councillors will not only consider plans for the second phase of the prominent project just off Highway 17 near Mount Newton Cross Road, but also the third phase which was the focus of council discussions Jan. 24.
Plans for the second phase call for two six-storey apartment buildings with 236 rental units while revised plans for the third phase call for one six- (up from five) storey condominium building of 50 units and for 14 townhouses (six of which have secondary suites) for a total of 70 units.
The second phase (if approved) would lie to the south of the first phase of the Marigold development already in place while the third phase would lie to the north. The first phase consists of a five-storey condominium building with 39 units, nine townhouse units and eight duplex units.
“I would have been happy either way, if we had considered both at the same meeting or did them a meeting apart,” Mayor Ryan Windsor told Black Press Media after the meeting. “It’s two different applicants, two different owners. I’m not sure I could really give you a rationale reason why it is better or worse to do it both on the same or different meetings.”
During the actual meeting, Coun. Bob Thompson said deferring the decision around the third phase to Feb. 14 is not going to make a difference. “But it does give us a more holistic look at what we are doing,” he said.
When asked whether council could approve one phase, but deny the other, Windsor said anything is possible. “At the end of the day, it’s council’s prerogative,” he said. “If council has rationale arguments (about) why something won’t work, it can make them. I’m not sure there is any hard and fast rule where council could accept one and reject the other. That is just the nature of how it is, because they are separate applications.”
Ontario-based Starlight Developments submitted the current application for the second phase after having purchased the site from local developers Tim Hackett and Steve Mann, who retained their involvement in the first and third phases.
The third phase now awaiting council’s decision adds an additional storey and density to the original plans for the phase. It has the support of Central Saanich’s advisory planning commission because of its impact on the availability of housing in the region, as well as staff, which had recommended approval of the development permit along with the requested variances. The third phase has also on the surface generated less opposition from neighbours than the proposal for the second phase.
Ultimately, the question remains: how hard will it be for council to say no to one and yes to the other?
“I don’t think any decision should be taken lightly, including rejecting one and accepting the other,” said Windsor. “At the end of the day, council has a duty to articulate why it is accepting or rejecting something.”
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