Housing developments continue in Royal Bay. According to the City’s recently-released draft official community plan, the population is expected to grow to roughly 27,000 by 2038, with most of the density centred around Colwood Corners and the Seaside Village at Royal Bay. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Colwood braces for density in community plan

Colwood Corners, Seaside Village at Royal Bay expected to see most growth

The City of Colwood is expected to look quite different in 20 years.

According to the City’s recently-released draft official community plan, the population is expected to grow to roughly 27,000 by 2038, with most of the density centred around Colwood Corners and the Seaside Village at Royal Bay.

“I think that’s the reality of pretty much all of the areas is that you’re getting pressurized into growth, it’s about taking the areas where that’s best suitable,” Mayor Carol Hamilton said.

“Let’s use those corridors, let’s update the corridor areas and leave some of the other areas a little bit more natural or develop them.”

Colwood Corners is envisioned to be a city-wide and regional destination for shopping, working and gathering, with mid-rise buildings consisting of retail, office and residential units, and residential buildings of up to 12 to 15 storeys. Densities will be focused along Sooke Road, Goldstream Avenue and Wale Road east of Wilfert Road.

There are lots of opportunities for growth at the Seaside Village by Royal Bay as well, which is expected to become a secondary primary hub within the city.

The area is expected to consist of residential buildings of up to 12 storeys, low-rise buildings with retail, possible office and residential, units and stacked townhouses.

“We have this brand new opportunity at Royal Bay, that was another area that could very easily become a hub, who knows what could happen,” Hamilton said. “Would eventually a ferry bus or sea bus type-entity be possible? Certainly with population numbers increasing it would make an interesting project.”

RELATED: Colwood community plan taking shape

The official community plan, which launched in fall 2016 and is based on community input over the past year, is a guiding framework for all departments and decision-making within the city over the next 20 years. It was originally created in 2008, but has not been updated since.

Aside from density, the plan touches on a number of other objectives. Housing is also set to expand. In 2016, Colwood had 6,867 private dwellings. That number is expected to increase by 3,478 units over the next two decades, with the number of apartments set to increase by 2,305 units during the same period.

Residential areas, such as Hillside and Shoreline, and a number of others will remain family-friendly neighbourhoods. However, homeowners will have the option of adding a suite, carriage house or coach house as a mortgage helper and to create more housing options.

Other objectives in the plan include supporting rental housing and a range of non-market housing options, achieving the City’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, protecting topography and trees, and increased transportation options.

But Hamilton said residents shouldn’t expect to see major changes right away.

“It is just a guideline, it’s not a magic wand. We hope that we have buy-in from the people who will be helping to make and shape that change because we can wish for sure, but it’s going to take development to make it happen,” she said.

Residents can give their feedback on the plan by emailing planning@colwood.ca, phoning 250-478-5999, in person or mailing Colwood City Hall (3300 Wishart Rd.).

To review the full draft plan visit colwood.ca/makingwaves.


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kendra.wong@gold streamgazette.com

 

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