Jillian Foght, 9, tests her balancing skills on a slack line in Cadboro-Gyro Park Sunday afternoon. A similar balancing act awaits the Cadboro Bay neighbourhood as it embarks on revising its local area plan.

Saanich’s Cadboro Bay neighbourhood gets ready for its close up

Revisions to local area plan are set to decide future of popular beachfront neighbourhood

The future of Cadboro Bay Village. Safety along Sinclair Hill. The beach in Cadboro-Gyro Park.

These three issues will likely loom large as the Cadboro Bay neighbourhood prepares for what likely qualifies as a long over-due overhaul of its local area plan.

“It’s important to go through this process, because things change,” said Eric Dahli, chairperson of the Cadboro Bay Residents Association.

Saanich defines local area plans as “neighbourhood plans that are developed with extensive consultation with community members.”

While Saanich’s Official Community Plan (OCP) trumps local area plans, they complement each other by filling in specific planning details that do not appear in the OCP, and the future of Cadboro Bay will likely resonate beyond Saanich as its small but quirky village, and Cadboro-Gyro Park with its stunning beach draws visitors from across the region, especially during events such as the Cadboro Bay Festival.

Notably, the review of Cadboro Bay’s local area plan coincides with a review of the local area plan for Cordova Bay Village, another regional attraction.

Council initiated both reviews last November. Saanich last changed the area plan for Cadboro Bay in 2002, for Cordova Bay in 1998.

In short, a lot has changed in both neighbourhoods, including Cadboro Bay, and Saanich staff have focused their initial efforts on gathering social data about the neighbourhood, said Cameron Scott, Saanich’s manager of community planning.

Saanich is currently recruiting an advisory committee, whose membership will consist out of representatives from the local residents association, local business association, local institutions such as the nearby University of Victoria, and neighbourhood residents speaking for different parts of the area. Parties can express interest until Jan. 21.

Scott said Saanich staff will use this panel as a source of local expertise, and as sounding board for planning themes and concepts that emerge during the process that will feature a series of community engagement events. The process will last about 18 months as part of mandate from council to review and revise local area plan reviews in what Scott called a “more expeditious fashion” with an eye towards replicating the process in other parts of Saanich.

If Cadboro Bay Village shapes up to be a procedural test case, substantive issues include the appropriate amount of commercial space in the area.

“What should the village look like? Should it grow? It’s a vital part of the area,” said Dahli.

Another looming issue concerns the state of Sinclair Hill, which leads into the heart of the area from the western sections of Saanich by way of the University of Victoria.

The route — as the name implies — takes travellers up and down a steep gradient. According to Dahli, it is full of potholes, and lacks adequate sidewalks for cyclists.

“If you are going on a bicycle up or down, you are taking your own life in your hands,” he said.

Finally, the review will also consider the state of the beach in Cadboro-Gyro Park. Derelict boats have routinely washed up on the beach, be it on the Oak Bay or Saanich side of it, thereby creating various environmental and safety hazards. The most recent incident happened in November 2017.

This issue appears as the most complex because the future of the beach depends on not just Saanich, but also private interests, non-governmental groups, neighbouring Oak Bay, as well as the provincial government, and the federal government.

A task force including representation from these various parties is set to begin their work in early 2018, said Dahli.

Just Posted

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria expansion gets $6M boost from province

Project many years in the making, but planned for current Rockland site

Washington State man facing murder charges in 1987 killing of Victoria couple

Two counts of aggravated first-degree murder filed against William Talbott II in Snohomish

Does a creature lurk beneath Cadboro Bay?

Researchers on hunt for Cadborosaurus, with sightings dating back centuries along the B.C. coast

Plastic bag ban guidelines unclear, local businesses say

Victoria’s BYOBag movement starts July 1, leaving local businesses with mixed feelings

Celebrating the 120th Philippine Independence day

Local Filipino communities host first public celebration in Victoria

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Car Free YYJ, family fishing, Sooke bluegrass, walk for cancer and a mascot’s birthday

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after an incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

Most Read