Saanich’s Uptown-Douglas corridor could become a bustling core of business, housing and transit over the next few decades as the district’s proposed plan comes to council for consideration on Monday (Aug. 10).
The goal is for the corridor to become “a central hub of residential and economic vitality,” said Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes.
Over the next 20 to 30 years, the municipality will prioritize pedestrians, improve transit in the region, encourage the growth of residential housing, and enhance green infrastructure. It also indicates intentions to develop parks, plazas and other public meeting spaces, and transform Oak Street into a “central high-street” where pedestrians, cyclists and transit users can access mixed-use buildings.
The development intiative started in November 2017, involving community consultation events including five open houses, 16 pop-up events, two community surveys and thousands of letters, brochures and postcards mailed to residents and nearby businesses.
The plan recommends increasing the maximum numbers of storeys from 12 to 18, and up to 24 in parts of the core, since taller buildings would “prevent urban sprawl” and preserve Saanich’s rural areas. Haynes sees businesses, medical offices and daycare facilities taking up the bottom floors of these buildings and residences on the upper levels.
If council endorses the plan, a public hearing would be held before it could be formally adopted.
The plan can be accessed online and residents, stakeholders and landowners alike are encouraged to provide input by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by registering before noon on Aug. 10 to speak during the meeting via conference call.