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New condo building proposed for McKenzie Avenue

A plan to add more density to a major corridor in Saanich is expected to go before council this week.

A plan to add more density to a major corridor in Saanich was expected to go before council next week.

Property owner Morgan Street Ventures is seeking to get approval to replace four single-family homes on McKenzie Avenue and Annie Street (near Saanich Road) with a five-level, 53-unit condo building and six three-storey townhouses.

It's a scaled back version of what was originally proposed in 2011, when it was slated to be upwards of eight storeys with 118 total units.

Saanich planner Shari Holmes-Saltzman, in her report to council, recommended approval of the project, as it would "address sustainability objectives by providing moderately higher density housing within walking distance of commercial services and public transit."

The applicant has also committed to investing $82,500 in upgrades to area sidewalks and parks, as well as for a contribution to Saanich's affordable housing fund.

While the report indicates there exists many single-family homes in the area, "it is anticipated that over time, these (neighbouring) lots will be redeveloped for multi-family housing," Holmes-Saltzman wrote.

While both the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association and the North Quadra Land Use Protection Association have backed the project, some neighbours remain concerned about traffic impacts – both speed and parking – along narrow Annie Street.

"On a regular basis vehicles speed up and down Annie … which creates unsafe conditions for our children," wrote Annie Street resident Dan Lathigee in a letter to council. "Adding 59 units will cause even more congestion is not managed correctly."


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