A rendering of Lantzville Village South, looking west on Ware Road at Lantzville Road with a grocery store on the left and mixed-use buildings on the right. (Barefoot Planning and Design/Lantzville Projects Ltd. image)

A rendering of Lantzville Village South, looking west on Ware Road at Lantzville Road with a grocery store on the left and mixed-use buildings on the right. (Barefoot Planning and Design/Lantzville Projects Ltd. image)

700-unit development in Lantzville will proceed to public hearing

Mixed-use Village South project anticipated to bring $25-million economic benefit

Plans for shops and hundreds of new homes in Lantzville’s village core are proceeding to a public hearing.

District of Lantzville council, at a meeting Wednesday, Feb. 9, voted unanimously to accept an economic impact assessment for the Village South special area plan and advance official community plan and zoning bylaw amendments to the public hearing stage.

The developer, Lantzville Projects Ltd., is looking at constructing 232 single-family homes and 500 mixed-family residential units on 23.3 hectares of vacant land on Ware, Lantzville and Wiles roads. Council gave first and second readings to the proposed OCP and zoning amendments in the fall, but also asked for the developer to pay for a financial analysis.

That study came back later in the fall, and an addendum was presented at last night’s meeting. Urbanics Consultants Ltd. reports that Village South would bring an expected net economic benefit of $25.1 million over the next 20 years. The study valued civil works at $26 million, municipal tax revenue at $6.2 million and community amenity contributions at $5.2 million, with those benefits offset by a development cost charges shortfall of $2.2 million, administrative costs of $4.2 million, policing costs of $3.7 million and maintenance costs of $2.3 million.

Siavash Tahan, Urbanics vice-president, told Lantzville council that the proposed civil works contributions were beyond what would generally be expected in a development so close to a village core, and Kyle Yoshida, Urbanics analyst, said the project’s relatively low density would make profit margins tight for the developer. The land is currently zoned to allow for 90 half-acre (0.2-hectare) lots and Yoshida said the District of Lantzville is facing a “binary” choice for development of Village South.

“Both of these choices are valid long-term visions for the district and depend on community priorities,” he said. “On one hand, lower density and predominantly large single-family residential units, similar to what currently exists in the district, or, on the other hand, higher residential densities that support a mixed-use village core and are able to attract and retain commercial tenants.”

Tahan classified the Village South proposal as “very, very low” density.

“It’s so low that it’s not generally matching with B.C. communities, especially not B.C. communities in high-growth regions of B.C.,” he said. “It’s lower than what basically could even sustain the commercial [development] that the community looks like it’s aiming to generate.”

Coun Ian Savage said he felt that economic impact of civil works is an “on-paper value” and questioned its benefit to existing residents.

“I think this big number of $26 million is really more for mandatory things that are servicing just the new residents of this development, not the current residents,” he said.

RELATED: Lantzville council looks over plans for shops and hundreds of homes in village’s downtown

Village South’s special area plan proposes residential and commercial development, including a grocery store, in the northeast portion of the land, and multi-unit and single-unit housing in other portions. The plan targets 22 per cent of the land as public parks, including a play field, as well as other trails and green spaces. One hectare would be given to the district for communiy use.

“I know that there is a huge amount of interest, and rightly so, in this project in our community, because it is right in the heart of our community,” said Coun. Karen Proctor.

The public hearing has not yet been scheduled.

RELATED: Developer’s back-up plan approved in Lantzville’s village core



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