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

Hundreds of wax figures find new life in Saanich man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

UPDATED: Hit and run results in damaged fire hydrant, flooding on Richmond Road

Registered owner issued $360 ticket, responsible for repair costs

Peninsula Eagles will host Midget T2 provincial championships

Provincial championships will take place at Panorama Recreation March 15 to 19

Saanich’s senior race car driver not slowing down

Bill Okell kicks off 2020 season at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California on Feb. 21

UVIC to host brain health presentation at IdeaFest 2020

Integrative Lifespan Lab will teach residents brain health for free at IdeaFest 2020

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Most Read