North Saanich approves Habitat for Humanity development

27-home complex has 10 affordable units

A new North Saanich development, with 10 homes dedicated to Habitat for Humanity, will likely go ahead.

The 27-home project recently passed third reading by council. The development, by Reay Developments Ltd., will be on three lots (2166 and 2172 Bakerview Pl., as well as 9270 Lochside Dr.). The plan still requires fourth reading and covenants to be registered, but North Saanich councillor Murray Weisenberger said those are formalities, and the development has passed its largest hurdle.

The value of the land donated to Habitat for Humanity is worth $1.2 million according to developer Brian Berglund, and it will be the largest single project ever undertaken by Habitat for Humanity Victoria.

“I’m so, so proud of having that come through,” said Weisenberger. At the meeting, he said he felt it was the greatest accomplishment of this term.

In a follow-up interview, Weisenberger said he felt the developer took the right approach by asking councillors individually what they wanted to see in a project before submitting plans.

Habitat for Humanity works with families and developers to provide homes for families by selling homes at a fair market value, financed with no-down payment, no-interest mortgages set at a maximum of 30 per cent of the family’s gross income. Families invest 500 hours of their own labour, called “sweat equity,” into building their home.

If a Habitat for Humanity homeowner wishes to upgrade, they sell their home back to Habitat so another family in need can take advantage.

“This project has us working with a developer to achieve something that wouldn’t be possible without their incredible land donation,” Habitat for Humanity Victoria CEO Yolanda Meijer previously told Black Press.

Weisenberger said while there was some desire for a beach access to be provided by the developer, he felt the idea was introduced too late in the process to be fair.

Mayor Alice Finall said at the meeting that while she opposed the project in the past, she did not oppose it at this stage after hearing from Habitat for Humanity and neighbours.

However, she continued to have concerns about the development’s proximity to soil that still needed remediation from airport runoff. She also preferred to have the developer improve beach access.

Weisenberger said tNorth Saanich could improve beach access themselves at a later date, since it was not a lengthy or steep access point.

Neighbours were largely supportive because of the affordable housing component, which encompasses 37 per cent of the development.

Those opposed were concerned not with the project’s aims, but rather speeding cars which would endanger people backing out of driveways and effects on wildlife.

Coun. Geoff Orr said that in the future, both North Saanich and Sidney could approach the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, which maintains the nearby Pat Bay highway, to assess traffic concerns.

Meijer said at the meeting that they were hoping to set a precedent and foster similar partnerships with developers, “because I think it’s really a model of what can happen when you get a for-profit, a not-for-profit, and a municipality working together” to address a systemic problem in the region.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich bylaw sparks EV charging infrastructure requirements in new builds

All new developments to be EV-charger compatible starting Sept. 1

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Summer program helps Greater Victoria teens sharpen writing skills

Registration for the program runs until Aug. 17

Langford cuts red tape, engages in random acts of kindness to uplift spirits

‘I Am Langford’ campaign promotes supporting local

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

Most Read