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Havenwood Park area rezoning moved along by Colwood council

Controversial development proposal has drawn ire of neighbours, more consultation coming
A visual showing BC Alta Developments’ proposed plans for one of two properties straddling both sides of Veterans Memorial Parkway on the northern border of Havenwood Park in Colwood. (Photo Courtesy of BC Alta Developments)

Colwood council has passed first and second readings of a controversial bylaw amendment that could pave the way for construction of four six-storey apartment buildings totalling 280 units, across two separate properties straddling Veterans Memorial Parkway and adjacent to Havenwood Park.

Council approved the first two readings by a 4-3 vote at the Feb. 14 meeting, with Couns. Cynthia Day, Doug Kobayashi and Stewart Parkinson opposed. The approval allows proponent BC Alta Developments to continue the process of public consultation. A vote on third reading and adoption of the bylaw amendment comes after that and if the project survives those steps, applications for development and building permits would follow.

READ MORE: Havenwood Park supporters oppose next phase of Colwood development

BC Alta made its original application in December 2020 and submitted an updated plan in May 2021.

The existing zoning was created in 2014 to allow for a previous development to build 22 single-family homes.

Since BC Alta began the application process, residents living around Havenwood Park have been vocal in opposition, including creating an online petition that as of Feb. 17 had more than 3,800 signatures.

Concerns have been raised around the proposal’s environmental impacts on the park and on the number of rental units the project would actually provide.

In response to the environmental concerns, council asked the applicant in September 2021 to provide a more extensive report focusing on riparian, geotechnical and hydrogeological assessments. In December, city staff reported to council the additional reporting was satisfactory and recommended the application move forward to the bylaw reading stage.

On the rental concerns front, staff presented a memo to council highlighting a letter sent on behalf of the applicant, indicating they would be willing to accept a pair of covenants on the project which would prohibit any future strata from prohibiting rental units in any part of the project, and that the 100 units in the east lot be guaranteed as rental units for at least 10 years.

READ MORE:Colwood proposes 5.48-per-cent property tax increase in early draft budget


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Justin Samanski-Langille

About the Author: Justin Samanski-Langille

I moved coast-to-coast to discover and share the stories of the West Shore, joining Black Press in 2021 after four years as a reporter in New Brunswick.
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