Saanich residents will have an opportunity Tuesday (Jan. 14) to provide input to council on a proposed 144-unit seniors complex.
Property owners Saanich Senior Living Inc. intends to build the four-storey facility on land at the corner of Admirals and Gorge roads, which currently houses the historic Brookman’s Grocery and Saanich Auto Repair, as well as a small apartment and commercial building, and a 23-room motel.
The complex would be an independent living facility, along with a care facility for seniors with memory loss.
Last August, after council gave first reading to the proposal, Mayor Frank Leonard called it a “dense” and “attractive” project for the neighbourhood.
“Some of the neighbours who were opposed said, ‘This doesn’t fit. This is a residential community.’ Well this is residential; this is seniors living in our community,” he said.
“Sometimes we need to redefine how we see residential. We can’t stereotype it as single family homes if we want our community to age in place. We’re going to have mixed uses of residential options in neighbourhoods.”
In 2006, council denied partial rezoning of the property to build a 46-unit apartment building based on community concerns about density and potential traffic impacts, among other reasons.
Council is aware that residents continue to have concerns about density and traffic impacts, which will likely be heard Tuesday.
The Gorge Tillicum Community Association previously threw support behind the project, noting the high number of seniors that live in the community and calling this proposal “a vast improvement” over previous redevelopment attempts.
In addition to building the new facility, the developer is proposing to rehabilitate Brookman’s Grocery and move it elsewhere on the property.
The public hearing happens at 7:30 p.m. at Saanich municipal hall, 770 Vernon Ave.
For more information on the proposal, visit saanich.ca/business/development/tillicum.html.