I hope this finds you well. On behalf of local Queenswood residents, we wanted to follow up to see if Cadboro Bay Residents Council has a position on the Application for Subdivision at 2345 Queenswood Drive. My email reflects the query of 21 Queenswood owners.
In April, I copied CBRA on the background information for this proposed application. I was also present when the applicant presented to CBRA Council in 2018; however, it should be noted that there was not full disclosure on the part of the applicant at that time. Much information has come to light in the two years hence, including that the applicant wishes to subdivide, sell to a developer and move. There are over 21 neighbours known to us, and probably many more, who do not support this development.
The application request at 2345 Queenswood Drive is for an additional two lots and two homes in addition to the current lot and dwelling for a total of three lots and homes. In addition, the applicant is asking for a variance to the backyard setback of the existing home to allow a new lot ‘B’ to be within 21’ of the existing large 5000’sq+ home. As well, the current residence will require two garages to be removed in order to allow room for the proposed third House ‘C’ along the communal pathway, resulting in the 5000sq’ existing home having an unusually small backyard with only a single garage. Realistically this would increase the likelihood that the existing older home would be torn down, without the benefit to neighbours of any design covenant. Without the backyard variance and the garages being removed this lovely existing house would be a great candidate to be remodeled and restored. The most significant issue for ourselves and neighbours is that the proposed lots and houses are situated awkwardly on the property, resulting in a massive negative impact on the privacy to the five immediate contiguous homes who either directly abut the existing property or side along the communal walkway. As a large 4200sq+’ house, the back of proposed House ‘B’ on Annabern would be at a unusual 90 degree angle to the back of our home and backyard; sadly we would lose the privacy which was a large part of the reason that we chose Queenswood to raise our family. Given the awkward placement, if a house had to be built on this lot ‘B’, we would ask that the house is a single story home in keeping with the other homes on the Crescent. This would serve to visually fit in with the four single story houses from the street to the left and to the right on Annabern, while lessening the negative impact to privacy of all concerned.
As well, the plans call for over 60 trees to be removed, including two protected trees with only two trees required to be replaced. The current lot has a mixed zoning of RS12 and RS14 and a lot line that runs through the existing home, which we understand Saanich may want to amend to two official lots. We do understand the dilemma this could pose for Saanich, so while we ideally do not want to see any development, we are aware about the possibility of Saanich approving for a second lot. However, we strongly oppose any argument for an additional third lot on this Queenswood property. A third lot and house ‘C’ is in our view completely excessive and unneeded, and given the awkward proposed layout which has House ‘C’ squished between the communal walkway and existing house, privacy and light for neighbours is significantly affected.
Queenswood is a unique, treed, countrified setting that prides itself on maintaining its natural environment with plenty of trees, intentionally no street lights and no sidewalks. Queenswood is not the Arbutus Corridor and we must support and maintain our rural settings for the enjoyment of locals, the greater community and the next generation, otherwise the damage will be done and the beauty is lost forever. Simply put it would be not be a welcome addition to have the precedent of developing a single lot into three lots in the Queenswood area.
As Cadboro Bay and Queenswood residents as well as CBRA members, we are asking for Council’s support in sending a message to Saanich Planning that the development at 2345 Queenswood is not supported as it is currently proposed, which is an ill-fitting three lot and three house subdivision necessitating the removal of 60 trees. We invite CBRA Council to come to our property to view from the back, to see first hand the impact that this development would have on immediate neighbours in terms of loss of privacy and greenery. We contend that any proposal for one additional lot and house (not two) must: fit on the current property on Annabern Crescent in a such way as to keep the flow and privacy of the neighbourhood intact (single story home ideally), provide a design covenant to provide comfort to all affected neighbours and replace a larger portion of lost trees.
We kindly thank you for your consideration of this matter and look forward to your reply.
Anne Kestell and Alan Nisbet
Queenswood Drive [address supplied]