Parking remains a hot topic as a long-awaited proposal for the former Casey’s Market in Oak Bay officially appeared before council Oct. 25.
The proposal would replace the existing one-storey building with three storeys of commercial and residential space at the corner of St. Patrick Street and Central Avenue. Roughly 118 square metres of commercial space is proposed for the ground floor with six rental spaces on the second and third storeys.
Living spaces would include four one-bedroom units of 56 metres squared floor area, and two two-bedroom units of about 89 m2. The suites would be rental units without age restriction and no short-term rentals.
The variances required for the proposal at 713 St. Patrick St. are to the maximum permitted building height (11 feet higher), occupiable height (10 feet higher) and the number of storeys and minimum number of on-site vehicle parking spaces.
Many on council commented on the disparity between the required 21 parking spaces and planned four. The advisory design panel reviewed the proposal in September 2020 and recommended approval, but also noted parking might be a concern.
A parking study from Watt Consulting Group shows peak parking demand for the proposed development would be 10 parking spaces. The plan includes providing a bus pass for each of the six units and six strata electric bicycles with appropriate parking.
Coun. Andrew Appleton called the proposal “imminently supportable” as he made the motion to receive the report and instruct staff to move forward with notification of neighbours.
It was a view primarily shared around the table with the exception of Coun. Hazel Braithwaite, who opposed moving forward while voicing concern about the height.
“I don’t think this is the right proposal for this corner. I would like to see something not as high here and with a little bit more parking,” Braithwaite said.
Council received the report and approved the development proposal to appear before council for consideration after notification of neighbours to solicit public feedback.
Find the development application online at onlineservice.oakbay.ca.
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