View Royal approves previously rejected development after community input

Community members collaborate with applicant to create livable solution

A bit of back and forth with neighbours has created a plan most seem happy with.

The development permit application for a new complex in View Royal was approved at Tuesday evening’s council meeting.

The 1342/1352 Trans-Canada Highway development will include 22 units in four blocks in a variety of two- and three-storey townhouses.

Since a meeting that discussed building the residential complex in December, the applicant has met with neighbours of the proposed development twice to hear their concerns and make changes to meet development guidelines.

Council congratulated the applicant, landscaper, and architect for working with neighbours to create solutions for the concerns they had and to the neighbours for taking great care in their community.

Neighbour of the proposed complex, Colleen Olague, spoke on behalf of residents that attended the meeting to thank council for the opportunity to collaborate and the positive experience they had.

“We feel this is something we can really live with,” Olague said. “You get a chance to really put your thoughts on the table and then it’s not something that people are going to despise, neighbours will be welcoming and it will be a positive thing in the neighbourhood.”

Some of the concerns dealt with the aesthetic appeal of the complex, which has been changed since the initial proposal.

The new colour scheme has been changed to use wood elements and the corrugated steel siding has been eliminated. Warm grey tones will be used instead of bright colours and stone walls have been added to the bases of the fronts of the units and frames of the yards as well as along the streetscape perimeter. A row of housing on the inside of the complex also has a reduced height to comply with zoning requirements.

Architect Erik Barker said the Capital Regional District specifically requested a very natural treatment of trees along the edge of the Galloping Goose Trail. Additional landcaping will be added around the perimeter of the property along the trail and a berm along the highway to provide a sound barrier and shield some visibility to the complex.

St. Giles Street will have canopy trees doubled up to create a lush streetscape. In the complex, tree species have been switched to smaller, more columner trees to create a green corridor between the housing areas and to create a light airy feel.

The green space inside the complex will use existing trees and landscapers will plant native species in an open amenity space. A looping walkway will go around the complex for residents to enjoy.

Another concern addressed was the driveway onto St. Giles Street in terms of parking and circulation. Four additional parking spots have been added to the street for anyone to park. Residents also wanted to ensure each garage is used for a vehicle and not as an accumulation of personal possessions, but that request was unable to be fulfilled.

Lindsay Chase, View Royal’s director of development services, said this request wouldn’t be possible for the Town to enforce and that owners or renters of the units can choose to use their parking spaces as they wish.

Council will discuss more possibilities for the sidewalk and how best to accomplish that during a future meeting.

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