Esquimalt Lagoon may soon have a new set of neighbours.
The Seafield Cottages, a subdivision of up to 35 single-family homes proposed for a currently agricultural zoned piece of land at Seafield and Heatherbell roads, cleared third reading at Colwood council on Monday.
Mayor Carol Hamilton said the proposal, while not her cup of tea, could be a good fit and add diversity in housing options in the city.
“For me it is about living up to what you say you are going to accomplish,” she said. “You look around the areas that have them (and they) are full. They are not empty and vacant places … that is what it takes to help build community.”
Hamilton said her two children have moved out of Colwood, one to Langford, the other to Cobble Hill, in search of more affordable housing and to get more “bang for the buck.” She hopes the proposed development opens up the area for growth within the structure of Colwood’s Official Community Plan (OCP).
It calls for the bramble field on Seafield and Heatherbell roads to be cleared and rezoned from agricultural to residential to make way for the cottage-style development.
A public hearing held immediately before the council meeting drew a handful of residents, some of whom voiced concerns about the potential for safety on tight lots, the density of development and the effect it may have on traffic.
Coun. Shari Lukens said that communication with the developer is important. She voiced confidence that it will continue and result in a strong development that benefits the neighbourhood as a whole.
“The developer (David Sorenson) has done a good job of working with the community … the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed,” she said. “He really understands the importance of engagement and the benefit of working with neighbours and he has done that exceptionally well.”
In addition, the development will include an amenities package that will see the remaining three houses on Seafield tied into the sewer line, a new playground to the east side of the development, a refinishing of Seafield Road and new sidewalks.
“If we can offer some opportunity for people to get in and get a foothold starting out, or people who are trying to downsize and move into something smaller, it can be an attractive addition to the local area,” Hamilton said.
The development could come before council for final reading as early as the August meeting.