by Roger Stonebanks, citizen journalist
The first draft of plans for residential development of the former Trio property in Cordova Bay show a mix of housing types with 440 dwelling units including a 12-storey condo.
Aragon Properties disclosed its initial development thoughts to more than 100 people who attended a public input meeting on May 30, 2015, following an earlier input meeting in February. David Roppel (email@example.com), the company’s director of planning and development, said Aragon Properties is “open” to a third meeting if requested. Otherwise, he said the next step is to consider public input, formulate revisions and submit a rezoning application to Saanich for the 26-acre property.
The property is currently zoned into three roughly equal parts but only one part (where Gravel Mart used to be) has residential zoning for condos and townhouses to a maximum 110 dwelling units and a six-storey height limit. Roppel said Aragon Properties plans to develop the entire property for residences.
The initial plans show the property divided into three terraces with row houses and single-family houses and high-rises ranging from “low” at two to five storeys, “mid” at six possibly eight storeys and “high” which “could be 10 to 12 storeys,” said Franc D’Ambrosio, project architect who was also the architect for nearby Mattick’s Farm, Mattick’s Green, Mattick’s Wood and the early stages of Sayward Hill residential development.
There could also be a commercial component of offices and retail.
“Community consultation is essential,” D’Ambrosio told the meting. “You have to be included in the planning.”
Roppel said he received 90 slips of paper with comments at the meeting plus comments written on large sheets of paper. It was clear from the comments that the principal concerns of those attending were the density of development (too much), the height of the 12-storey condo (too much) – and the amount of traffic that will be generated and its impact on Cordova Bay Road.
Mitchell Jacobson of Boulevard Transportation Group in Langford said traffic impacts can be quantified once the number of dwelling units and types of accommodation are settled. He was “looking at” the idea of a roundabout at Cordova Bay Road/Fowler Road. Vehicular access to the property will be from Cordova Bay Road.
Roppel said Aragon Properties foresees a diversity of housing in terms of different housing forms, connectivity to open spaces, fitting into the neighbourhood and any commercial use “must build on the success of Mattick’s Farm and not detract from it.” The single-family and row houses would be fee simple ownership and the rest would be strata or rental. Typically, he said, Aragon allocates 10 per cent rental in developments.
He noted the negative comments about the height and location of the 12-storey condo. The meeting heard that adjacent Sayward Hill has an eight-storey building approved but not yet built on Hill Rise Terrace off Cordova Bay Road. The condos behind Mattick’s Farm adjacent to Cordova Bay Golf Course were originally planned for eight storeys but after negative comments, they were divided into the present two four-storey buildings.
He said the company plans to have a website running in a few weeks.
Looking ahead, he estimated it would take up to a year to get rezoning approval from Saanich with the first Development Permit six to eight months after that. “Hopefully we will complete the project in five to eight years,” he said.
While the company initially called the proposed development “Triangle Hill,” it has dropped this name because of negative comments. Until a new name is decided, it will be called “755 Cordova Bay Road’ which is its address.
Please see earlier story on – Engaging the Community Early, and Often.