An application to rezone 12 properties on Goldstream Avenue and Peatt and Claude roads could change the atmosphere of what is often referred to as downtown Langford.
But the application had at least one resident concerned at Monday’s council meeting.
“The proposal is very open ended. It doesn’t give me any confirmation to the impact or potential impacts to my property. As a taxpayer in Langford, I would like to see a little more information,” said Joe Pennimpede, who owns an adjacent property. “It’s to me a proposal that is like signing a blank cheque … I’m asking ‘where’s my guarantee?'”
He also raised concerns about what the site will look like in the future in terms of sight lines, heights of buildings and traffic flow. Another resident wrote a letter to council expressing concerns about parking problems on Peatt Road.
The 12 properties are owned by Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, and Niall Paltiel of Island View Strategies applied on behalf of the church and Bishop of Victoria Corp. to have the land rezoned.
A bylaw to rezone 798 Goldstream Ave., 2747, 2753, 2761, 2769, 2779 Peatt Rd., and 2734, 2738, 2742, 2746, 2750, 2756 Claude Rd. from community institutional, one-family residential or one- and two-family residential to a new community town centre pedestrian zone went to public hearing at Monday’s council meeting. The new zoning would allow for a future mixed-used development along with a new church and parish location.
Eleven of the properties have single-family homes, while the 12th contains the church, a building used for a pre-school and a third building used for a parish.
The City’s official community plan (OCP) refers to this area as the “city centre,” which can be used for a wide range of high density housing, including affordable and rental options. The OCP also calls for areas of employment, entertainment and civic uses to be included in this zone.
During the public hearing, Matthew Baldwin, Langford’s director of planning, noted that unfortunately, the property to the north of the site is no longer consistent with the OCP and may be more suitable for redevelopment.
According to a staff report, a detailed plan for the entire site is not known at this time as approximately half of the land is intended to be sold for development at a later date. But the church does intend to keep a portion of the northern section of the site for a new church and parish.
As Paltiel noted during the hearing, a development design and plan for land would have to come from the new owner.
If the rezoning is approved, the new owner would have to file for development and building permits.
As part of the rezoning request, the church proposed a shared parking option that would allow the church exclusive parking privileges to the City-owned Danbrook parking lot. This access would be for Sunday mornings and would provide additional parking for the church. In exchange, the church would permit the general public to use their onsite parking lot during daytime hours, Monday to Friday.
After the hearing, council gave second and third reading to the rezoning bylaw.