Plans to construct a 144-unit seniors home at the corner of Admirals and Gorge roads in Saanich took another step forward Monday night, with council sending the plan to a public hearing.
Mayor Frank Leonard says it’s a dense and attractive project, and the discussion around it should serve as a reminder to the public that everyone needs a place to live.
“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.”
Leonard said this is a much more attractive proposal for the property, which currently houses the historic Brookman’s Grocery and Saanich Auto Repair, than what had come before council in years past.
“It was standing-room only when the previous application came. We only have three neighbours come out opposed (on Monday),” he said. “It’s a credit to (the design) team – they’ve done their homework with the neighbourhood and made a lot of changes to address the neighbours and broader community.”
The proposed four-storey building will next go to a public hearing before Saanich council makes a decision.
Property owners Saanich Senior Living Inc. say most of the units will be for independent living, though some assisted living units will be available.