This document received by the District of Saanich shows a 4-storey, 25-unit condo project for 986 and 990 Doumac Avenue. Council will re-convene a public hearing Oct. 17 that had started Sept. 12.

Saanich to resume controversial public hearing next week

A public hearing into a controversial housing development in Cordova Bay will resume next week after council had started to receive input last month.

The meeting scheduled for Oct. 17 starts off where council left on Sept. 12, when its members started to hear plans for a four-storey condominium project with 25 units on Doumac Avenue. Council however decided to reconvene the hearing at a later day after it became clear that the meeting would go well past 11 p.m. to 1 a.m, if not later, against the backdrop of 20-plus speakers, who wanted to follow a presentation from the developer.

Several councillors expressed concerns that they would not be able to make good decisions at such a late hour. Council had also meeting for nearly five-and-a-half hours the night before.

The proposed Doumac development appears as the only item on the agenda for the public hearing. When council first started to receive input on the development and an accompanying bylaw creating a new village centre zone, four other items had preceded.

The Doumac development has been the subject of considerable controversy. Council scheduled a public hearing for an earlier version of the proposal almost exactly a year ago, but developers eventually withdrew it earlier this year following public concerns about its impact on the form and character of the Cordova Bay neighbourhood, currently undergoing far ranging changes.

While developers re-submitted a revised version in late summer, critics have pointed out that the development retains the basic parameters of the initial submission and council will likely hear considerable opposition.

The Doumac development is one of several major proposed developments that promise to reshape the community. They include among others the proposed re-development of Cordova Bay Plaza, a larger and a likely far more controversial proposal.

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