An artist’s rendition of the Legion development proposed for 622 Admirals Rd. in Esquimalt. Township council gave first and second reading to the proposal

Esquimalt Legion building a step closer to approval

Public hearing yields little new information for township councillors

Esquimalt councillors heard a contrast between the sentimental and the practical this week at a public hearing for a new seniors housing and Royal Canadian Legion development proposed for 622 Admirals Rd.

By the end of Monday’s hearing on Monimos Equities and Developments’ rezoning application for the property, councillors were convinced the need for a modern, purpose-built facility – one with a 12-storey tower – outweighed worries about losing the Legion in its present form.

“One resident had a really good comment,” Coun. Megan Brame said Tuesday. “She said, ‘this is about zoning, not the Legion.’ It’s a hard time for people to separate all the wonderful work the Legion does and the project itself.”

Council gave first and second reading to the proposal, which calls for a mixed-use building with 140 seniors independent living apartments and 12 “veterans dwelling units” managed by the Legion. The Esquimalt-Dockyard Legion Branch 172 would have a scaled-down facility in the building.

Township staff will now consider comments from the public hearing, then bring a recommendation to council later in June. That decision would be the last major hurdle for the project to overcome in a process that has taken several years to reach this point.

Parking had been an issue with some residents, but the final version of the plans bumped the number of spots back up to 116 spaces, the number required under existing bylaws.

Coun. David Schinbein said most of the correspondence he received about the project leading up to Monday’s hearing was positive.

“The single biggest thing people said was that this is going to be a facility that’s affordable for people in Esquimalt,” he said. Many of the comments came from people nearing retirement age who told him a complex purpose-built for seniors, some of whom are on fixed incomes, was lacking in Esquimalt.

Monimos Equities CEO Chris Fitzpatrick has heard the public’s concerns at various times through the life of the project. He said it was good that people had one last time to speak about the development.

“I think we’re there,” he said of the version of the project presented Monday in council chambers. “I think we’ve made all the changes and listened to council’s suggestions and come through the community process. There’s not a lot more we can do in terms of the physical design of the buildings, other than some minor exterior items.”

If it passes third reading next month, the project will then go through the advisory design panel for final tweaking.

 

 

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

Just Posted

Esquimalt explores creating portage beach for choppy Gorge waters

The portage beach would add safety to the Victoria Waterways Loop

Decline of Canadian manufacturing hurts men, according to new study

A five per cent drop in manufacturing drops the weekly wages of men by at least 6.9 per cent

Number of U-Hauls entering Victoria plummeted in 2019

Data compiled from two million one-way U-Haul transactions

Organizers seek input for long-awaited Oaklands community garden

Oswald Park Community Garden Design Workshop coming up on Jan. 19

Six months to Francophone Games, 600 volunteers needed

Online applications open on Jan. 14

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read