Council’s committee-of-the-whole meeting lasted 47 minutes, and cast a spotlight on the Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood.

Council’s committee-of-the-whole meeting lasted 47 minutes, and cast a spotlight on the Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood.

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill.

Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support for two developments that would add housing to the neighbourhood.

The first calls for a new duplex at 285 Maddock Avenue between Tillicum Road and Albina Street. The second involves the creation of two standard lots and one panhandle lot by way of adjusting the borders of three existing lots on Austin Avenue.

Both developments remain subject to final approval during a regular council meeting — likely later this month — and various provisos, largely centred on fulfilling energy efficient standards and alternative energy requirements.

Rob Wickson, president of the Gorge Tillicum Community Association, praised both developments, with some qualifications.

He said council should insist new developments include actual photovoltaic or solar hot water systems rather than be merely solar-ready.

“Why aren’t we doing solar now?” asked Wickson when commenting on the Maddock Avenue development. He later repeated this demand when commenting on the Austin Avenue project. He also called on council to increase density.

Overall, Wickson said these developments illustrate recent trends in the neighbourhoods, which has seen an influx of diverse housing types thanks to investors

But if Monday’s meeting cast the spotlight on the neighbourhood in a positive light, Wickson also used the occasion to call on councillors to insist on high quality developments throughout the neighbourhood, just as they would for developments in the Ten Mile Point neighbourhood.

Monday’s meeting, for the record, featured just three items and lasted 47 minutes.