At its meeting on Monday, July 15, the proposed “Osprey” townhouse development at 2590,2594, 2598 Penhryn St. was approved by Saanich Council on July 15, 2019 by a vote of 7 to 2.
Susan Bryce moved that it be accepted and Karen Harper seconded, saying that it would add to the vibrancy of the village and that it ticks the right boxes for infill.
Nathalie Chambers and Judy Brownoff voted against, both saying that they might consider an alternative proposal. Chambers reiterated the sea rise, tsunami and liquefaction risks of the site. Brownoff said that the design is not sympathetic to the street and that it squeezes in too many units, eg for vehicle turnaround or exiting in an emergency.
Rebecca Merserault and Ned Taylor acknowledged that their decision to support the project had not come easily given the concerns of residents. Merserault said that she had leaned heavily on the recommendations of staff and work done by experts on flood level risk. Taylor said that density in village centres makes sense and that decisions have to be based on the existing LAP and OCP, recognizing that the new LAP hasn’t yet been concluded. Both expressed regret that the development would not be affordable, but Taylor noted that few homes in Cadboro Bay are affordable.
Mayor Haynes said that housing affordability should be defined as affordable to those who want to buy. Those who buy the townhouses will free up their homes to sell, creating a cascade effect. He said he appreciated the incredible amount of input and regretted that the community had not come to an agreement with the Applicant.
Colin Plant, who had chaired the lengthy June 18public hearing, said that the density is very appropriate and that 3 storeys is small by comparison with some standards. Every community thinks that it is special but Cadboro Bay is no more special than most others.
Councillor Zac de Vries said his position was much same as that of Councillor Merserault.
A video recording of Council’s full discussion will be available on the Saanich website – July 9, 2019 Public Hearing, starting approximately half an hour in: