View Royal development headed for public hearing

Eagle Creek project passes first and second reading for rezoning required

The proposed Eagle Creek development in View Royal will go to public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The first and second reading of the rezoning application for the project passed at the Nov. 6 council meeting.

Eagle Creek is a proposed commercial and residential development for 5.8 hectares of land at the corner of

Watkiss Way and Helmcken Way.

“I would like to firstly thank staff for a very quick turnaround on this,” said project manager Peter Laughlin at the meeting. “We do recognize the challenges that they face. … The effort is being made and it is recognized and is appreciated.”

There have been some changes in the planned development as the result of public input. Some of the buildings have been lowered in height in respect of residential views and one large building was split in two to allow a pedestrian corridor in the middle leading to a bus stop.

The north part of the site is to be dedicated as a public park and the developer also committed $1 million to the Town of View Royal after the rezoning has gone through. It has been suggested that that money could go towards the town’s proposed new fire hall.

Some councillors had concerns the wording of the rezoning would allow for a box-type grocery store to move into a building set aside for a supermarket.

Generally large businesses will not be allowed, but there is a stipulation in the bylaw to allow for a 40,000 square foot supermarket.

A tenant is in place, but remains confidential for business reasons. Director of development services Lindsay Chase suggested a covenant be included to make sure the grocery store cannot exceed a certain floor-space limit, which council agreed to.

Traffic impact has also been an issue throughout the process. Coun. David Screech, who has been adamant about improving traffic on Helmcken Road, asked again what plan is in place to calm traffic.

“We know, with respect, that it’s a problem and what I’m asking is what we’re going to do,” Screech said. “I’m getting the distinct impression that really we have no plans to do anything to the traffic flow on that stretch of Helmcken.”

Mayor Graham Hill asked staff to prepare a report for committee of the whole to discuss the issue of traffic further. Laughlin said that his team would be able to work on the issue also. It was one reason the public hearing was pushed to Dec. 4.

A roundabout is being touted as a potential solution for the intersection on Watkiss Way where there is an entrance to Victoria General Hospital and Eagle Creek. A roundabout is also an option for the intersection of Watkiss and Helmcken.

The Ministry of Transportation will have to sign off on the project before approval.

 

A development permit is in the process of being applied for.