Long awaited plans for a mixed use development to replace the vacant Cordova Bay Plaza have been approved by Saanich Planning staff.
The proposal will come before Saanich council at a committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 29.
Designed by architect Alan Lowe, the development proposes 91 residential units in the top three floors of three four-storey buildings. Each building would have retail on the ground floor, including a proposed grocery store, restaurant and bank, and 324 parking spots (surface and underground). That’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.
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The proposal will go before Saanich council for approval in form and character only, as there was no application for rezoning. It is consistent with the C-3 shopping centre zone, and is within Cordova Bay Village, designated for mixed use up to four storeys in Saanich’s official community plan and the Cordova Bay local area plan.
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It’s been a long time coming for the submission. Saanich had awarded an initial development permit in 1999 but the project stalled due to contaminated soil below the former gas station at Doumac and Cordova Bay. The environmental issue was signed off after 2012, and Lowe, on behalf of the owner and developer, has introduced plans and received feedback during public consultation sessions with the neighbourhood in the past few years.
The project would also come with traffic improvements, a cycle track along the west side of Cordova Bay Road and a middle turning lane on Cordova Bay Road. Delivery trucks for the grocery store would have access to a loading bay via Doumac Avenue.
Included are six electric car charging stations and, though it won’t have solar panels to start, the buildings will be fitted as solar ready for future solar panels or hot water heating systems.