Colwood has approved plans for the Latoria South portion of Royal Bay following a public hearing that saw residents both for and against the development.
At the July 13 public hearing, residents voiced their opinions on GableCraft Homes’ development on the south side of Latoria Boulevard – part of lands called Royal Bay. On Wednesday, July 15, council gave third reading for amendments to the Official Community Plan (OCP) as well as the rezoning of the lands, with final consideration for adoption scheduled for Aug. 31.
Those who are part of the Royal Bay Community Association group were in favour of the plans and keen to see them go ahead with a commercial area and much-desired grocery store.
They also support a new transit exchange, cycling paths and sidewalks for pedestrians that are planned to go in the site. In a statement to Black Press Media, the group said the new projects planned for Latoria South will “uplift the local economy by providing employment and commercial opportunities, as well as support the day to day needs of local residents who have long awaited a grocery store closer to home.”
Meanwhile, those from the Royal Bay Homeowners Association have expressed concerns over the developer’s plan to build three-storey attached homes along the south side of Latoria Road. A letter from John English, one of the association’s members, cited concerns regarding an increase in noise pollution and people living in the buildings being able to look into homes on the north side of Latoria Boulevard. Fears also include increased traffic, not enough street parking and a misalignment with the City’s original OCP.
“What I hear most from residents is the desire for a grocery store and other neighbourhood commercial amenities they can walk or cycle to in Royal Bay,” said Colwood Mayor Rob Martin. “This plan shows how those everyday needs could be met as the next step in fulfilling the community’s vision for a vibrant seaside village.”
According to the City, GableCraft Homes is proposing an “urban village” for the south side of Latoria Boulevard with a mixture of housing types and commercial amenities as well as new parks and trails. Transit and transportation connections, an elementary school, a fire hall and a civic precinct are also part of the plans. The lands would be broken up into two distinct areas: The Commons commercial area and the Quarry residential area.
There are already more than 300 homes in the Royal Bay neighbourhood and the Commons and Quarry would serve as an expansion. About 2,100 homes would added to the Royal Bay lands as part of the Quarry. If approved, construction is to begin in 2021 and will continue for over one year.
Council is set to consider final adoption on Aug. 31. If adopted, the City said the proposed amendments would bring more specificity to the OCP in terms of outlining areas with distinct uses.