The Cordova Bay plaza redevelopment as approved in January of 2018. (Alan Lowe Architecture) The Cordova Bay plaza redevelopment as approved in January of 2018. (Alan Lowe Architecture)

Saanich didn’t follow process, says petition

Court hears petition over Cordova Bay plaza redevelopment

Saanich council cannot approve development variances beyond the existing official community plan, according to the results of a court-heard petition that questioned the January 2018 approval of the Cordova Bay plaza.

The District of Saanich faces no penalty or consequence regarding the manner, aside from the legal cost of receiving the petition in court, but is reminded that all development permits are restricted to conform with the official community plan, as cited in bylaw 478(2) of B.C.’s local government act.

Read More: Saanich approves long-awaited Cordova Bay plaza proposal

Read Also: New development would breathe life into aging Cordova Bay Plaza

The court petition was filed by David Busch, of Pearlman Lindholm, representing Cordova Bay residents Derek Hopkins and Karl Doetsch in March. It came following the Jan. 30 decision by Saanich council to approve the plaza redevelopment with 91 residential units on the top three floors of three four-storey buildings. Designed by architect Alan Lowe, each building will have retail on the ground floor, including a proposed grocery store, restaurant and bank, and 324 parking spots (surface and underground). It’s a total of 46,797 square feet in floor space, with a footprint covering 37 per cent of the 38,900 square-foot lot.

However, the development faced a spirited opposition with about 170 letters written to council against the design. Chief among the concerns was the 15-metre, four-storey height of the building, despite the previous application (from 1998) that was only 7.5m, which opponents said conforms with Cordova Bay’s local area plan. (Saanich is currently amid a public consultation period to redesign the Cordova Bay’s local area plan with a workshop as recently as Dec. 3 at Claremont.)

What the court hearing established, Busch said, is that Saanich can’t approve variances for zoning that are inconsistent with the official community plan.

Initially the petition cited both the developer and owner as at fault but was amended to exclude them (around August) when the petitioners recognized the delays and financial penalties that would come from that.

Related: Human bones found on Cadboro Bay construction site

“[My clients] chose to have a proactive approach,” said Busch. “As much as they didn’t want to see the development go ahead, they said, ‘let’s move forwards and make sure Saanich doesn’t do this again.’”

Busch pointed out that the architect, Alan Lowe, had designed the plaza’s original redevelopment in 1998 at a height of 7.5 metres.

In a statement through spokesperson Megan Catalano, Saanich said the court order restated the language of section 478(2) of the local government act. “Second, by consent of the parties (including the petitioners), the court order strikes out all portions of the petition, and all portions of the petitioner’s affidavit, that alleged any wrongdoing on the part of Saanich.”

The former Cordova Bay Plaza, constructed as the Seaview Shopping Centre by George McMorran in 1960, is now gone with a foundation for the new centre underway.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Popular food truck to open restaurant on Oak Bay Avenue

Dead Beetz Burgers adds brick-and-mortar restaurant

Students bring real issues to Oak Bay High mock election

‘Humans are an endangered species, no-one seems to realize that’

Access: A day in the life using a wheelchair in Victoria

Black Press Media teamed up with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre to learn about barriers

CRD aims to reduce solid waste going to Hartland Landfill by a third by 2030

District launches public engagement campaign for waste reduction strategies

Victoria retirement community celebrates 403 years of life

Four women over 100 celebrate at The Wellesley

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read