Two major projects approved for the Marigold neighbourhood will create what Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor called a significant addition to local housing stock.
The second and third phases of the Marigold development off Lochside Drive near Mount Newton Cross Road, approved by council at the Feb. 14 meeting, add nearly 300 homes to the area in various configurations.
The second phase, which passed unanimously, includes 235 rental units spread across two six-storey buildings at 2515 Hackett Cres. The third phase, passed with only Coun. Zeb King opposed, calls for a six-storey, 50-unit condominium building and 14 townhouses, located north of the five-storey, 38-unit condo building already completed.
Coun. Niall Paltiel recused himself from both votes, having previously cited a non-pecuniary conflict of interest.
The second phase will significantly reduce the municipality’s housing deficit, Windsor said. More specifically, developer Starlight Developments calculated it would meet 42 per cent of the anticipated new housing demand (557 units) for the period 2020-2025, as identified in the Capital Regional District’s Housing Needs Assessment for Central Saanich.
At Mondays’ meeting, Windsor and Coun. Bob Thompson were among those who acknowledged previous resident accusations claiming Starlight had significantly changed the second phase from its original design.
But the project offers an important opportunity when weighed against the cost of foregoing it, Windsor said. The window for creating more rental housing while interest rates remain low “may be closing in the next couple of years,” he added.
Perhaps the most enthusiastic endorsement for phase 2 came from Coun. Carl Jensen, who said the district is obligated to provide as much housing variety as possible for people who want to live in the community. “They should be offered the same choices that we had when we first chose to move to Central Saanich,” he said.
Windsor expects work on the both the second and third phases to start imminently, with completion sometime in 2024. The completion of all three phases will give this prominent section of the Saanich Peninsula a different appearance, a fact not lost on Windsor.
“But I am confident that based on what we have seen, that it will fit,” he said. “There will be obviously a period of adjustment for people and I appreciate that. But I think it will fit.”
Council’s approval of the second phase is subject to a covenant that commits Starlight, which purchased the land for the second phase from the developers of the first and third phases, to an extensive package of transportation amenities and promises, including not charging for visitor parking during the day.
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