Residents send Esquimalt village plan back to the drawing board

Holding a print out photo of a cruise ship, Esquimalt resident Gary Mullins showed municipal council what he said would be his view if plans for a new village project are approved.

“I don’t need 100 condos looking down into my yard,” said Mullins, who lives on Carlisle Street across from municipal square – the focus of the proposed redevelopment.

“It’s like parking a cruise ship in front of a house.”

More than 40 Esquimalt residents, anxious about living in what they say will be the shadow of two highrises, flooded council chambers last week.

They demanded council back down from finalizing changes to the township’s official community plan and zoning bylaw that would have allowed a mixed-use commercial and residential building up to eight storeys high, and a condominium with a maximum 12 storeys near Municipal Hall.

For two hours citizens streamed to the microphone with worries over noise, height, shade, pollution, traffic and parking problems the towers could potentially create. A petition with more than 100 signatures fighting the project was also submitted.

Many neighbours demanded the project be included as a referendum question on the November municipal election ballot.

“It would be twice the height of any building in Esquimalt, except for Swallows Landing (featuring two nine-storey towers in the township),” said Carlisle Street resident Jim Hesketh.

New condos don’t make sense in a community where similar buildings, such as the Ovation on Esquimalt Road, are struggling to fill units, he said.

Council agreed, and with a unanimous show of six hands it promised to postpone approving bylaw changes indefinitely.

“I learned things tonight that I hadn’t heard before … that a 12-storey building doesn’t belong in a village,” said Coun. Lynda Hundleby.

The purpose of the plan was to attract parties interested in leasing or buying the land, or partnering with the township on a redevelopment, in the hopes of attracting new residents and businesses.

“We know that project is always going to be developed,” said Mayor Barb Desjardins. “This project is valuable to Esquimalt. It’s a game-changer.”

Plans to demolish the old township hall and former public works buildings will be discussed at a committee-of-the-whole meeting June 13.


Just Posted

‘The system has fallen apart:’ Victoria woman’s son died a day after being accepted to treatment centre

Victoria man’s body went undiscovered in Victoria parking lot for five days after overdose

Every situation is different, jurors hear at coroners inquest into Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Pediatrician says involuntary treatment necessary following overdose, opioid use

CRD tickets cyclists who ignore stop signs at Lochside trail, Saanich Road intersection

Many cyclists don’t heed the stop signs, use pedestrian-activated crosswalk light

Inaugural Sarah Beckett memorial Run raises $20,000 for law enforcement scholarship

Widow calls run, community playground fitting tributes to fallen mom and Mountie

VIDEO: Victoria airport guests see dinosaur surprise

Two boys dressed as raptors get a shock when their grandmother comes to greet them

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. Ferries vessel breaks down right before long weekend

Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route impacted most, revised schedule adds 4 a.m. sailings

Weather Canada issues thunderstorm alert for coastal Vancouver Island

Severe thunderstorm watch issued around 4:15 p.m. as storms developed over sections of the Island

Nanaimo man gets jail time for posting explicit photos of ex-girlfriends

Man’s name cannot be revealed to protect victims’ identities

North Island thrift store robbed at knifepoint, say RCMP

Suspect fled on bicycle following Tuesday stick-up

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Most Read