Overview unveiled for massive Colwood neighbourhood at Royal Bay

Former gravel pit land could be the site of more than 2,800 homes

The company behind the development of Royal Bay’s waterfront is staying tight lipped on specific plans for the vast piece of cleared land, but has given the public a first look at its general vision.

Dozens of Colwood residents attended an open house last Thursday to take a peek at some initial plans for the 419 acres, which extend back from the waterfront and across Latoria Road.

At the open house, displays spoke of building a complete community with a public waterfront, which will restore the site to a “functional ecology” and offer up to 2,300 homes.

While no one representing developer B.C. Investment Management Corporation or GWL Realty Advisors, the development manager, was permitted to speak to the Gazette about the project, residents had a variety of concerns and reactions.

“I just want to see what they’re planning there and how dense it’s going to be, and if they’re leaving any green space,” said Pat Warlow of Metchosin, who drives through the area daily.

“This is very impressive,” said Joan Hoffman, a Royal Bay area resident of 30 years.

“(I hope it’s) for all ages, so there’s something for everybody, so people feel comfortable. This will be their community, this is where they’ll shop, this is where their children will go to school. They’re making sure they take the time to do it properly. This is first class.”

Royal Bay resident Brian Case wanted to see a little more specific information about the developers plans. His primary concern is trying to pack too many people into the area and ruining any sort of neighbourhood feel.

“What I hope to see is a really well-organized urban development,” he said. “My biggest concern would be high-density. The other developments that are in the area are a higher density than I would like to see.”

B.C. Investment submitted an application for an Official Community Plan amendment to Colwood on Friday, despite the absence of a proposed master plan.

Colwood’s director of planning, Alan Haldenby, said the city has been working with GWL quite closely over the last year and is now also working directly with the project developer.

“Their intent is to get the OCP area plan out of the way first and then pursue, maybe next year, the rezoning aspect of it,” Haldenby said.

He couldn’t get into specifics of the plan because it is still in development.

What he did offer was that the developer’s target for density does not differ much from the current local area plan, established by former owner Lehigh Hanson 15 years ago, before the gravel company sold the land in 2012.

The OCP currently allows for 2,800 units for 7,000 residents, although Haldenby said the type of housing will now likely be more geared toward detached single family dwellings, as opposed to attached residential or apartments.

“From what they’ve told us, they’re not proposing to alter that any great deal,” he said.

Colwood would not be against an increase in density, Haldenby said, even though the developer does not at this time appear to be heading in that direction.

“Certainly locations are likely to change as far as green space connections. They seem to be proposing something a little bit different,” he said. “Until they give us their final master plan, we don’t have much to work with.”

A draft area plan update will be presented at the next open house on Thursday, March 20. A third open house April 3 will reveal the final plan which will be presented to Colwood council for bylaw adoption.


Just Posted

‘Best in the country’: Formerly homeless man praises Victoria’s outreach services

Jay W. was living on the streets of downtown Victoria in 2018

City of Victoria plans workshop to determine fate of Sir John A. Macdonald statue

Conversations will happen as part of a reconciliation dialogue series in May 2020

Years of ‘horrific, violent accidents’ at Thetis Lake prompt plea to public

View Royal fire chief asks for an end to alcohol consumption at busy park

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital home to new cancer diagnostic suite

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted in murder of Saanich couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Most Read