Eagle Creek development faces hurdles

Dealings with View Royal council bring complications

Eagle Creek, the proposed development next to Victoria General Hospital, is facing tight deadlines to pass zoning and development applications with the Town of View Royal.

Unexpected delays have put View Royal in a position where it needs to hurry along a rezoning application in order to have it done in time for the developer to be able to move forward.

The proposal from developer Omnicron, based out of Vancouver and Victoria, will include 138 apartments and more than 10,000 square feet of commercial and office space for medical and other professionals.

Town council passed a motion on Sept. 4 instructing staff to stick to deadlines in order to have the third reading of the motion complete by the end of November.

Staff was hesitant to make promises, expressing its main concern to be getting the information they need from the developer and pushing through an insufficient application.

“In our past there have been development processes that have failed and part of that failure was, in my way of thinking, the neglect of staff, the lack of due diligence, over promising on behalf of the community,” chief administrative officer Kim Adema said.

“In that light, I don’t believe that we can afford to compromise due diligence.”

Director of development Lindsay Chase said staff is waiting on parking information and some servicing requirements and were not satisfied with a transportation study the developer submitted.

“I think we have a good working relationship with staff and want to continue that,” Omnicron director Peter Laughlin said at the meeting.

“I can assure you we will give 110 per cent to work with staff to make sure that communication stays appropriate.”

Coun. David Screech said he had trouble understanding the resistance to setting strict deadlines for moving the process along in a timely fashion.

“I feel at the moment like we are being forced into a position of making it look like we, as a council, are ramming this through,” Screech said.

“This is a development that brings so much good for our community. … It’s a once in a lifetime, almost, opportunity to get on with it. And I really resent that we’re going to have to pass a motion to expedite it.”

Chase explained the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is also in the mix and has to be waited on before the bylaw can receive its final adoption.

If the application does go ahead as council has instructed, then a public hearing will be held sometime in November.

The developer offered help by way of a contractor to speed up the process.

Coun. Heidi Rast disagreed with the rest of council and said staff should be given enough time to use due diligence to develop a rezoning proposal that has no holes in it.

“I think forcing a date doesn’t do anything,” Rast said. “I think waiting and seeing it work out for a few more weeks is a better option.”

 

Project manager Peter Laughlin of Omnicron did not return requests for an interview.

 

 

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