This artist’s rendering shows plans for the re-development of the intersection of Patricia Bay Highway and Sayward Road in rural Saanich. Submitted.

Proposed drive-thru for Saanich closer to opening

Construction could start in October pending municipal approval

When all is said and done, it will have taken more than three years to re-develop one of the most prominent corners in the Greater Victoria region, largely because of access issues that have required the input of multiple actors.

Aaron Vornbrock, principal at Urban Design Group Architects (UDGA), said the company plans to submit amended designs for its proposed re-development of a gas station at the southwest corner of Patricia Bay Highway and Sayward Road in Saanich early next week.

RELATED: Burger drive-thru planned for busy Saanich intersection

Images and site plans available on Saanich’s website show a gas station (Chevron), a drive-thru fast food restaurant (A&W) and an attached convenience store (On-the-Run), as well as retail space for two other businesses. They would replace the location’s current tenant, a gas station run by Fas Gas Plus, an Alberta-based gas station chain, with locations across western Canada, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories.

Vornbrock said he is hopeful that the proposed amendments to the development will help move it forward.

“If all things go well, we would be looking at starting construction in October,” he said. Construction itself would last seven to eight months, taking the project into late spring, early summer of 2020, more than three years after the conception of the project. Saanich received the company’s application in early February 2018.

Compared to other projects, the pace of this one falls somewhere in the middle, said Vornbrock.

“It’s a little bit more lengthy than what we are used to seeing,” he said, pointing to a comparable project in Chilliwack that wrapped up in February 2019 after starting in June 2017.

Site access has been the primary issue, said Vornbrock. The site needs a left hand turn for gas deliveries onto the site when heading west along Sayward Road, he said. But space — or the lack thereof — could impact highway traffic, he added.

These discussions have not just involved the District of Saanich’s planning and engineering departments, but also the provincial ministry of transportation and infrastructure (MOTI), said Vornbrock, adding that working with Saanich staff has “been very reasonable.”

“As far as [Saanich] planning and staff, they have been very good,” he said.

The actual building will not differ much from what Saanich received, and promises to be a profitable one, by virtue of its location.

As the 2014 Highway 17 Planning Study says, the highway is the “gateway to the Capital Region on Vancouver Island, accommodating the movement of people, goods and services externally from the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay and the Victoria International Airport to the Victoria Region and other areas of the Island.”

According to the report, daily traffic volumes range anywhere from almost 15,000 vehicles per day to over 60,000 vehicles per day from the north to south segments of the corridor. Daily traffic volumes are highest between Sayward Road and Royal Oak Drive.

Overall, the report predicts significant traffic volume increases. It predicts peak hour corridor traffic volumes in the northern areas of the corridor (north of Mount Newton Cross Road) will go up between 20 per cent and 30 per cent over the next 25 years.

For the corridor’s southern section (south of Mount Newton Cross Road), the report predicts an increase of up to 50 per cent. “Peak hour directional volumes in the southern areas of the corridor are projected to be as high as 3,600 vehicles during the afternoon peak hours in the southbound direction and slightly more than 3,000 vehicles northbound,” it reads.

In short, plenty of vehicles will drive past the redeveloped location, which the provincial government also plans to improve, according to the report to handle additional traffic flow.

The Saanich News has reached out to the District for comment and will update this story.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

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

Just Posted

Nominations for Victoria municipal byelection are in

Victoria will elect one councillor

City to lead discussion on John A. Macdonald Monday night

The fourth chapter of the city’s reconciliation dialogues was moved to a larger venue

Athletes gear up for Pan Am XC Cup at Bear Mountain Saturday

This is the first time Canada is hosting the championships

Extra precautions against COVID-19 put in place as tourism season arrives

Airports and border services follow federal cues to minimize spread of coronavirus

Court hears of moments before Victoria father stabbed to death in the middle of Hillside Avenue

Sentencing hearing for Daniel Creagh, charged with manslaughter, began Friday

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read