Langford is set to call action on a film studio and expanded residential options for the old Western Speedway site – a proposal largely met with approval from residents.
The studio will create hundreds of jobs and be an economic driver for Langford and the wider region, according to Kathleen Gilbert, film commissioner for the Greater Victoria Film Commission, who spoke during the public hearing for the project on June 20.
She said last year there were 40 shows filmed in the Capital Regional District with more than $60 million spent doing so. Shows that use sound studios could spend even more said Gilbert, with such productions commonly having budgets between $30 and $200 million per series.
“What really excites me is residential because there’s going to be a lot of film technicians who are going to want to move to our region as soon as we get this film studio and it’d be wonderful for them to be within walking distance.”
Strand Corporation and Bastion Development Corporation, the developers behind the large business park project at the speedway site are also seeking rezoning for a portion of the property to add residential zoning to lots one through four – while leaving the rest zoned for a business park.
While many residents were in favour of the proposal, some did have concerns about the impacts of more housing in the area. Langford resident Christina Parker said she was worried about the impact on traffic on Millstream Road which she said is “already quite backlogged.”
The city is working on widening the road and adding sidewalks on both sides of Millstream Road. A traffic impact study conducted by the developers estimated while there would be an average increase of 235 trips during the peak p.m. hour into the park there would be 141 fewer trips out of the park. Reid Kaufmann, vice-president of Bastion said the idea was to build a “complete community where people can live, work and play,” thus cutting down on traffic.
Council passed second and third readings of the rezoning proposal and is scheduled to vote on adoption at a future council meeting.