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Proposed Sooke Road development clears another hurdle

Height, lot coverage and traffic concerns voiced at public hearing
A proposed development for the north corner of the Sooke and Happy Valley intersection will result in a realignment of Glen Lake Road if the project is approved. (Rendering courtesy of the City of Langford)

Neighbouring residents to the proposed development on Sooke Road that would include the realignment of Glen Lake Road voiced some concerns with the project at a public hearing this week.

At the Langford council meeting Monday, one of the main concerns was the potential height and lot coverage that would be seen if this site is redeveloped to allow for a mixed-use development that would include high density housing and commercial units.

The roughly five-acre site, which includes 2682, 2684, 2686, 2696, 2702 and 2706 Sooke Rd., is owned by Oakcrest Park Estates Ltd. and is located along the north side of Sooke Road near Glen Lake Road and is bordered by the Galloping Goose Trail. Two other properties, at 2668 and 2674 Sooke Road, were also included in the rezoning application.

RELATED: Realignment proposed for Glen Lake and Sooke Road intersection in Langford

“The overall density could reach a floor area ratio of 6:1 and a lot coverage of 90 per cent. However, there are some limitations on achieving that type of density, one of which is the ability to provide adequate parking,” said Matthew Baldwin, Langford’s director of planning.

He noted the results of the storm water management plan would determine if the site would be suitable for underground parking and how far down that could go.

“We’ve all found in most developments that parking tends to be the limiting factor,” he added, noting structures above six storeys tend to have different costs associated with that as well.

Jim Hartshorne, president of Keycorp Developments, noted it was not expected to achieve even 75 per cent lot coverage. “I don’t think that would ever happen,” he said.

One resident was concerned the new buildings would loom over the Galloping Goose Trail, negating some of its natural beauty. Other residents voiced concerns about potential noise and asked if sound deadening fencing would be installed.

Baldwin noted design guidelines for multi-family residential call for a six-foot-high fence with one metre of landscaping in a two metre setback.

Mayor Stew Young noted the Capital Regional District’s right of way around the Galloping Goose will remain intact and will not be touched.

Baldwin added a lot of the green space along the trail is within that right of way.

If all goes as planned, the proposed development will result in a realignment of Glen Lake Road to Sooke Road at the Happy Valley intersection.

In addition to this, the developer would also be responsible for frontage improvements to Sooke and Glen Lake roads which include bike lanes, sidewalk, curbing, landscaped boulevard and street lighting.

Residents were eager to hear when work on that part of the project, especially the realignment of Glen Lake Road, would begin.

“That’s a big priority of council to make that change,” Young said, noting it would have to happen before the new development was to open.

He added once that was done there would also be some kind of barricade that would prevent people accessing Sooke Road from where it currently meets Glen Lake Road.

Residents also expressed concerns about the safety of that stretch of Sooke Road, noting the difficulties they are having turning left.

Young noted the new intersection and road improvements would help alleviate some of those problems.

Council gave second and third readings to the rezoning bylaw after the public hearing.

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Katherine Engqvist

About the Author: Katherine Engqvist

I took on the role of Bureau Chief when we created the Greater Victoria editorial hub in 2018.
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