The Cordova Bay plaza redevelopment as approved in January of 2018. (Alan Lowe Architecture) The Cordova Bay plaza redevelopment as approved in January of 2018. (Alan Lowe Architecture)

Saanich didn’t follow process, says petition

Court hears petition over Cordova Bay plaza redevelopment

Saanich council cannot approve development variances beyond the existing official community plan, according to the results of a court-heard petition that questioned the January 2018 approval of the Cordova Bay plaza.

The District of Saanich faces no penalty or consequence regarding the manner, aside from the legal cost of receiving the petition in court, but is reminded that all development permits are restricted to conform with the official community plan, as cited in bylaw 478(2) of B.C.’s local government act.

Read More: Saanich approves long-awaited Cordova Bay plaza proposal

Read Also: New development would breathe life into aging Cordova Bay Plaza

The court petition was filed by David Busch, of Pearlman Lindholm, representing Cordova Bay residents Derek Hopkins and Karl Doetsch in March. It came following the Jan. 30 decision by Saanich council to approve the plaza redevelopment with 91 residential units on the top three floors of three four-storey buildings. Designed by architect Alan Lowe, each building will have retail on the ground floor, including a proposed grocery store, restaurant and bank, and 324 parking spots (surface and underground). It’s a total of 46,797 square feet in floor space, with a footprint covering 37 per cent of the 38,900 square-foot lot.

However, the development faced a spirited opposition with about 170 letters written to council against the design. Chief among the concerns was the 15-metre, four-storey height of the building, despite the previous application (from 1998) that was only 7.5m, which opponents said conforms with Cordova Bay’s local area plan. (Saanich is currently amid a public consultation period to redesign the Cordova Bay’s local area plan with a workshop as recently as Dec. 3 at Claremont.)

What the court hearing established, Busch said, is that Saanich can’t approve variances for zoning that are inconsistent with the official community plan.

Initially the petition cited both the developer and owner as at fault but was amended to exclude them (around August) when the petitioners recognized the delays and financial penalties that would come from that.

Related: Human bones found on Cadboro Bay construction site

“[My clients] chose to have a proactive approach,” said Busch. “As much as they didn’t want to see the development go ahead, they said, ‘let’s move forwards and make sure Saanich doesn’t do this again.’”

Busch pointed out that the architect, Alan Lowe, had designed the plaza’s original redevelopment in 1998 at a height of 7.5 metres.

In a statement through spokesperson Megan Catalano, Saanich said the court order restated the language of section 478(2) of the local government act. “Second, by consent of the parties (including the petitioners), the court order strikes out all portions of the petition, and all portions of the petitioner’s affidavit, that alleged any wrongdoing on the part of Saanich.”

The former Cordova Bay Plaza, constructed as the Seaview Shopping Centre by George McMorran in 1960, is now gone with a foundation for the new centre underway.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Oak Bay police searching for missing man

Nicholas Hasanen has not been seen in a couple of weeks, is known to sleep in local parks

Night construction means closures for Interurban Road

Traffic interruptions at Interurban Road near Wilkinson Road from Dec. 9 to 20

Decision on Victoria’s bid for 2022 Invictus Games expected next month

Greater Victoria is competing against Germany’s Düsseldorf to host the games

320 years since the ‘Big One’ doesn’t mean it’s overdue: Canada Research Chair

‘It could happen today, tomorrow or 100 years from now’

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

B.C. coroner asking for help identifying man found dead in Peace region

Mounties have deemed the man’s death not suspicious and believe he died earlier this year

Lawyer competence includes knowledge of Indigenous-Crown history: B.C. law society

All practising lawyers in B.C. will be required to take a six-hour online course covering these areas

Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines, says report on income inequality

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

Most Read