Proposed development sparks look at changes to Esquimalt’s view of West Bay

Community input sought in development of design guidelines

The West Bay neighbourhood of Esquimalt is the focus of proposed new urban design guidelines meant to shape a clear, long-term vision that balances the needs and desires of residents, business owners and developers.

“The problem is the (current official community plan) design guidelines for West Bay are the same as the design guidelines for some of the property along Esquimalt Road,” said Bill Brown, Esquimalt’s director of development services. “West Bay is something different. In my opinion, it deserves its very own unique set of design guidelines.”

With council’s approval, Brown developed a set of draft guidelines in recent months in response to a development proposal for a 10-storey residential tower with ground-floor commercial space. It would be located on a triangle-shaped parcel of land at the meeting of Head, Gore and Lyall streets.

It’s not unusual for municipalities to make changes to their OCPs in the face of active development applications, Brown said. “There’s nothing for us to adjudicate (the current) application against. A building of that size is going to have substantial impacts on the neighbourhood.”

Prominent West Bay property and business owner Mark Lindholm is behind the proposal. It has generated outrage from neighbouring business owners and residents, who say it does not fit in with the commercial marine village feel of the neighbourhood, home to single-family and float residences and small marine businesses.

“This project is a major departure from that direction,” said Carole Witter, who lives in the neighbourhood and is co-owner of Hidden Harbour Marine Centre.

Her comments echo statements made by the West Bay Neighbourhood Association. “Not only is it a major departure, it is actually a threat to what exists here,” she said.

Lindholm did not respond to the News‘ requests to speak to the matter.

Among Witter’ other concerns were that the area be protected as a natural resource, one that serves as a waterfront recreational destination. She added that the proposed high-density tower is out of scale with the current neighbourhood.

For that reason, she supports a clear vision for West Bay in Esquimalt’s OCP.

The community has until July 15 to provide feedback on the proposed West Bay urban design guidelines and can do so by calling Brown at 250-414-7146. Another public input meeting will be held in the fall, before council considers the proposed OCP amendment.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

Credit card frauds target local businesses: VicPD

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Fatherhood draws Victoria man to publish Tsimshian colouring book for children

Leon McFadden is working on 11 more books to finish the horoscope series

Victoria shoppers fund Jubilee hospital cardiac monitoring

More than $40k raised over the holidays at Canadian Tire locations

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read