Myself and many other concerned residents of the immediate neighbourhood in Royal Oak have been active in our efforts to make known our valid, fact-based opinions and objections to Doral Forest Park, a proposed 242-unit condo development with two buildings, one of which is 11 storeys high, adjacent to the southern boundary of Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park on Elk Lake Drive.
This proposal does not conform to the Saanich Official Community Plan, which limits building height to four storeys in this area, or to the Royal Oak Local Area Plan, which specifies buildings of higher densities are to be located near urban cores, rather than at the outer boundary of the Urban Containment Zone
In spite of all the previous neighbourhood concerns and opposition voiced to the Saanich planning department, to the advisory design panel, to Mayor Fred Haynes and council, this proposal now comes to public hearing on June 15.
It is my opinion, which is shared by many others, that this is an inappropriate location for an 11-storey tower, with density, height and a number of housing units that both greatly exceed the maximum limits allowed by the site’s current RA-3 zoning.
No matter how much architects might like it, and no matter how much tax revenue it brings in, it also brings a range of negative aspects such as light pollution, increased traffic congestion, especially at the intersection of Elk Lake Drive and Royal Oak Drive, and off-site parking problems, all of which would negatively impact our Royal Oak neighbourhood.
Of greater importance, approval of this application will set precedent for high-rise developments in other Saanich neighborhoods.