Council this week: Sooke staff urge councillors to deny variance for housing project

Developer wants to build two six-storey buildings with 161 residential rental units

Sooke planning officials are asking district councillors to deny a variance to a proposed rental housing complex, citing that the application does not comply with the zoning bylaw or development permit guidelines.

WestUrban Developments wants to build two six-storey buildings with 161 residential rental units and about 9,500 square feet of commercial space fronting Brownsey Boulevard.

“The main issue is that the development does not establish a pedestrian-oriented streetscape because of the following: significant retaining walls, blank walls, lack of a consistent line of building fronts that clearly define the space of a street, surface parking on a highly visible, prominent corner, and limited at-grade access to each of the building sites,” staff said in a report to council.

“The proposed retaining walls discourage interaction between the public realm, the ground floor commercial and the proposed plaza space by creating physical and visual barriers. Improvement is needed to create a more engaging and vibrant pedestrian-oriented streetscape, as supported by (development plan) objectives.”

Brownsey Boulevard –referred to as “waterview street” in the official community plan – is a road cited as a shop-lined main street.

The report stated staff would work with WestUrban Developments on how the site and building design will need to be altered if council rejects the variance.

Council will discuss the proposal at Monday’s (June 13) council meeting.

Other items on council’s agenda tonight:

• The Sooke Lion’s John Phillips Memorial Park proposal to build a community facility returns to council, with plans to host a town hall event in September.

• The finance department delivers its first-quarter operating report.

ALSO READ: Lions eye community centre at John Phillips Park in Sooke

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