Shelbourne Community Kitchen board chair Clarice Dillman hoped her organization would be chosen to receive a portion of community amenity funding stemming from Wesbild’s University Heights redevelopment proposal. The amended application goes to public hearing on Tuesday (Nov. 16). (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Shelbourne Community Kitchen board chair Clarice Dillman hoped her organization would be chosen to receive a portion of community amenity funding stemming from Wesbild’s University Heights redevelopment proposal. The amended application goes to public hearing on Tuesday (Nov. 16). (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Busy Saanich charity hoped for amenity funds from University Heights redevelopment

$1 million contribution targets more greenspace, public art, electric vehicle infrastructure

Shelbourne Community Kitchen staff are disappointed their organization was left off the list of recipients of community amenity contribution funding from the University Heights redevelopment project.

The charity, operating out of the Lutheran Church of the Cross at Cedar Hill Road and Cedar Hill X Road, offers services for food-insecure individuals and families in the area.

On Sept. 27 council approved sending an amended plan for the shopping centre redevelopment by Wesbild to public hearing on Nov. 16.

Decisions made at that time about community amenities effectively removed Shelbourne Community Kitchen from any proceeds relating to children and family-focused issues.

“We are heartbroken because there are so many food-insecure individuals in the valley and we need help in making sure they’re fed,” said board chair Clarice Dillman.

Already struggling to feed more than 650 individuals and families on a regular basis – those numbers are climbing – they were hoping for inclusion, she added.

The amended plan – part of the rezoning and development permit application discussed Sept. 27 – included a contribution of $1,000,000 and options about how to use these funds.

It was decided in a 5-4 vote that $750,000 would go toward greenspace acquisition in Saanich, $100,000 toward public art, and $150,000 more for electric vehicle infrastructure.

The main motion, as amended, was carried with Couns. Brice, Brownoff, Chambers and Plant opposed.

ALSO READ: Split vote by Saanich council sends amended plan for University Heights to public hearing

Erika Schade, Saanich communications manager, said the community kitchen applied for and received $10,000 from the district’s Strategic Priorities Grant program in 2021, and has received such grants from the district since 2015.

“With regards to the proposed University Heights development, council requested the applicant (Wesbild) put forward several options for the Community Amenity Contribution,” Schade said. She noted the application is still being reviewed by council and no final decision has been made.

The public may contribute to the conversation at the public hearing on Nov. 16. Visit saanich.ca to find out how to get involved.


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developmentDistrict of Saanich