Being a resident of Elk Lake Drive, and having retired after many years in real estate, I would like to offer my opinion on the proposed Doral Forest Park development.
I am not against development for the sake of development. The proposal put forth to council looks very appealing. However, it is just too big for the site. Not only is the height of the complex too high (11 storeys) but the amount of traffic to be added to the already overloaded roadway is going to be too excessive. Elk Lake Drive is already getting to be a drag strip with drivers looking for quicker access to either highway route. No one travels the speed limit and the situation is only getting worse. It is no wonder that the Ministry of Transportation advised against the new proposal. The existing road is at capacity.
Through a former realtor’s eyes, what I interpreted from people’s statements regarding more affordable housing was not realistic. With the increase in lumber costs and real estate values, even with a ‘15 per cent less than appraised value’ the ‘average Joe’ expecting a good deal may not even qualify for a mortgage.
The dreamers out there expecting Saanich to provide them with ‘their break in real estate’ just aren’t being realistic to themselves or anyone else. The municipality and Saanich taxpayers are under no obligation to provide cheap accommodation just so that you don’t have to move away.
Are we to understand that if another development comes along that exceeds height restrictions, hasn’t got enough available parking, is recommended not to proceed by MoTI, that council will just disobey such recommendations and precedents and once again seemingly rubber-stamp such proposals? And we haven’t even mentioned the protection of trees, birds and bees.
I do not think that council as a whole acted for ‘the will of the people’ but am grateful that Couns. Chambers and Brownoff expressed their concerns and disapproval.