Last week’s scheduled Open House by developer Abstract Developments about their proposed development at 2580/2588 Penrhyn St. did not take place. Goward House management apparently knew nothing about it, so the venue was closed when people arrived at 7pm. However, an impromptu presentation was made in the parking lot, before an audience of about a dozen people, between 7:15 and 7:45pm.
From those who did attend the presentation, and from members of the board who saw the presentation given by Abstract last December, the following arguments for and against have been raised.
- The development appears to be broadly in line with the Cadboro Bay LAP in terms of allowing multi-family housing in the Village Centre and compliance with the Multi-Family Housing Development Guidelines (Table 7.1) with regard to overall height (9m.), orientation (front doors along street frontage), public pedestrian access through and in front of the site, and consolidation of existing lots.
- The plans have been well advertised, but few objections have been received from local residents to the development per se
- Attempts to reduce the building’s monolithic impact by breaking the roofline at the corners, and by using flat roofs to reduce the vertical size
- The developer has a good reputation in Victoria.
Concerns that have been raised:
- Precedent: if this is approved, are 3-storey developments likely to follow in other parts of the Village?
- No street-level perspectives were provided to allay concerns about overshadowing and obstruction of views
- Light pollution: we ask for assurances that all external lighting in the development be “dark-sky friendly”.
- That the proposed condominiums of 600 – 800 sq. ft., costing $325,000 and above, are more suited to the downtown core than to Cadboro Bay, and would be difficult to sell – as was evident in the condo development built across the street.
- Insufficient parking provision (one per unit, plus four for the public) and increased traffic
- Architectural: Some would like to see more stone cladding at the ground floor (commercial) level, and deeper reveals, rather than the shallow and mostly metal-frames around the glazed areas. Concerns were also raised that the flat-roof design is not in keeping with the pitched roof character of the area.
The CBRA has therefore told Saanich Planning Department that it is broadly in favour of the development, subject to the above concerns being adequately addressed.