Saanich denies demolition of heritage house
Saanich council denied a couple looking to remove and demolish a 2,400 square-foot registered heritage house at 1542 Mt. Douglas X Rd. and replace it with a contemporary 6,800 square-foot single family dwelling.
In addition to deregistering the 1913-built Edwardian style home from the Saanich heritage registry, the applicants, Gurdip and Surinder Binning, requested three variances on property lines and a roof height variance for the new building.
“This house can be saved,” said Ken Johnson, president of the Heritage Hallmark Society and a board member with Saanich Heritage Foundation. “Both organizations are diametrically opposed [to its removal]. Deconstruction is just a nice word for demolition.”
The application detailed a “deconstruction” plan for the heritage house, promising to make elements of the house available to the market.
However, council rejected the deregistration of the heritage home and setback variance requests (though the applicants did withdraw the request for a height variance) on the grounds the heritage house is not a tear-down and the new house does not conform with the neighbourhood.
Saanich residents oppose radio tower in neighbourhood
Residents of one Saanich neighbourhood are sending out a strong signal of opposition to a neighbour’s proposal to erect a radio tower in his backyard.
“We’re just trying to get the word out and trying to fight it anyway we can,” said Susanne ‘Sanni’ Rosebrock, who lives next door to the home at 3451 Salsbury Way where the tower would be installed.
Rosebrock and her neighbour Adele Caird voiced their opposition to an application by Brian Summers to build a 15-metre amateur radio antenna and tower in his backyard.
Caird wrote to members of Saanich council, citing concerns with privacy, esthetics and declining property values.
“Nobody wants to move into an area that has a 50-foot radio tower. They’ll see that and they’re not interested,” said Caird, who has collected 25 names on a petition from neighbours opposed to the radio antenna.
For Brian Summers, it’s just the continuation of a hobby that has spanned 60 years and stretched across the country and beyond.
“I’m following a federal government-mandated consultation procedure with neighbours,” said Summers, adding he has erected radio towers at his former homes in Ottawa, Calgary and Richmond without a problem from neighbours.
Rosebrock and Caird submitted the petition and letters of concern to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, who is responsible for making the decision. The tower was eventually approved
Downtown Victoria business takes parking matters into its own hands
Sasha Appleton has had enough of what she calls the lack of parking in the downtown core and is taking things into her own hands.
The soon-to-be-owner of The Cobbler on View Street said the problem has been impacting her business for months. With no plans on the horizon to add public parking spots, Appleton has begun distributing handouts encouraging customers to voice their concerns to the mayor and councillors about the lack of street parking and in the city’s five parkades.
“We just thought since we were getting a lot of complaints and a lot of people were coming in in the afternoon and having a lot of trouble parking, that they could have their voices heard,” Appleton said. The grousing about parking is heard on a weekly basis, she added, noting that one customer told how they tried and failed to find a spot on three previous trips before eventually finding one.
“It’s frustrating. It’s a little scary for downtown merchants. How long are customers going to be loyal?”
In an effort to alleviate parking woes, the Downtown Victoria Business Association launched a park and ride service with 53 spaces, and earlier this year released a map of all parking available downtown.
But what the city needs is another parkade, said Appleton, adding she hopes the campaign doesn’t fall on deaf ears.
Saanich company hits the jackpot with container design
There is a little company that is taking flight here in Saanich that has the potential to revolutionize food growing here and also internationally.
West Coast Microgreens is located just off Interurban Road, where president and CEO Ty James has turned about a half acre of land into a highly productive farm in just over a year. Even though it was early in the spring, there was already a significant crop of greens growing in his beds and greenhouse.
The patented “Jackpot” cloth bag container system is the signature of the business. The name is an indicator of the payoff that growers might hit from using the product and their farming system.
West Coast Microgreens has developed this specialized non-woven polypropylene cloth that is resistant to heat and cold and prevents root circling that often occurs with plants, trees and shrubs in plastic containers. It is also porous which allows for airflow, maintaining cooler temperatures and when set up with a drip irrigation system, is designed to keep even moisture levels.
James is excited about the potential for this product to be used both by backyard growers but also in commercial applications. Systems have been set up in the region, including at the Victoria Golf Club and Saint Michael University School (SMUS). The chefs harvest fresh greens right out their back door at the Victoria Golf Club.
Woman to face $100 fine for dog attack on Saanich puppy
The owner of a dog said to have attacked a yellow Labrador puppy in Elk/Beaver Lake Park faces a $100 fine.
“We were able to track down the owner of the dog,” said Don Brown, chief bylaw enforcement officer for the Capital Regional District.
The CRD issued the fine after an off-leash dog had attacked Boomer, the then five-month-old yellow Labrador puppy of Don Jordan, while he and his partner Erna Arndt were walking Boomer on a trail in Elk/Beaver Lake Park June 12.
The couple and Boomer passed a woman walking five adult dogs: a long-haired golden retriever, a short-haired yellow Labrador, a medium-sized boxer, and what was described by Arndt as a chocolate Labrador retriever, and a mixed-breed dog. All dogs were off-leash at the time. The park — which is under CRD jurisdiction — allows off-leash dogs except in certain areas on the condition owners keep theirs dog under control at all times.
The couple had left the woman and her dogs little more than five metres behind them, when the mixed-breed dog attacked Boomer from behind. The attack left bite marks on Boomer’s face that required stitches and staples. The woman showed little regard for Boomer, said Jordan, who would like the woman to help cover treatment costs of just over $200.
Brown said the CRD has had dealings with both the woman and the attacking dog, which he described as brown and tan-coloured German shepherd.
“We have had multiple occurrences in the past,” he said. In fact, the CRD has issued a dangerous dog caution against the animal, a precursor to designating it as a dangerous animal, stemming from a 2015 incident.
If classified as a dangerous animal, the owner would have to leash and muzzle the animal, said Brown, who believes its record justifies such a designation. The owner would also have to keep the dog in a fenced-off area with a clearly visibly sign that identifies the animal as dangerous.