View Royal residents gave generally favourable reviews to the proposed Eagle Creek development at a public hearing Dec. 4.
Eagle Creek is a proposed commercial and residential development for 5.8 hectares of land at the corner of Watkiss Way and Helmcken Road.
Comments made by members of the public were generally positive, although some did raise concerns.
“I do recognize that it’s going to have a lot of benefits for us,” said Joanne Beagle, a Hidden Oaks resident. “However, we do want to mitigate some of the concerns we have, especially as a resident who is going to share a fence line with the development.”
Hidden Oaks townhouse community is the only developed property directly adjacent to the proposed Eagle Creek site.
Omicron, the developer, agreed to lower the building adjacent to Hidden Oaks to one storey, to minimize impact on the residents there. The end of another four-storey building, however, will still sit across from some of the townhouses.
Beagle presented a petition signed by 50 local residents asking for a maximum of three storeys on the buildings in that area of the development.
“We’re seriously hoping we can still see some changes to help mitigate the concerns that we still have,” Beagle said.
At the hearing it was also announced Quality Foods is the grocery retailer interested in leasing space set aside for a grocer in Eagle Creek. Quality Foods has locations throughout mid-Vancouver Island and Powell River. This would be the first location for the chain in Greater Victoria.
Co-owner of Helmcken Market, Shannon Tse, spoke at the hearing, asking the developer to reconsider bringing in a large grocer to compete with her small market that has served the community for 39 years.
“We’re not objecting to the development, but why do we need two stores in this small town?” Tse asked.
Tse also used the opportunity to quell rumours that the store would be closing.
“I’m here to tell you we’re going to go stronger, we’re going to continue the business,” Tse said.
One resident suggested electric vehicle charging stations be incorporated into the development.
The project will also have to go through a development permit process before it can go ahead. The first phase will include retail, office and rental condominiums, along with more than 700 underground and surface parking spots.
“It’s not simply a shopping mall, it’s not simply a professional centre. It is in fact a community,” project manager Peter Laughlin said.
Traffic concerns were also brought up. Those issues, which have also been brought up repeatedly by council, will be addressed as the process continues. The developer is working with View Royal staff and the Ministry of Transportation to come up with a solution.
The Dec. 4 hearing was in relation to a rezoning application that had already passed first and second readings with the town council. After the public hearing council passed a third reading. Ministry of Transportation must approve the plan before fourth and