Colwood Council welcomed input from residents about the proposed next stage of development for Royal Bay at a public hearing on July 13, and last night gave the rezoning and OCP amendments third reading. Final consideration for adoption of the bylaw is scheduled for the August 31, 2020 meeting agenda.
What is proposed
GableCraft Homes proposes a vibrant urban village for the south side of Latoria Boulevard with a mix of housing types and commercial amenities to meet residents’ everyday needs. New parks and trails are planned with pedestrian, cycling and transit connections, along with an elementary school, fire hall and civic precinct.
Two distinct areas are envisioned: The Commons commercial area, and a residential area, aptly named the Quarry, in this waterfront development that functioned as a gravel operation for nearly 100 years.
The Commons and Quarry will expand the existing Royal Bay Meadows neighbourhood where there are currently over 300 homes, an expanding greenway of new parks and trails and the growing Royal Bay Secondary School which is currently under expansion and will be the largest high school on Vancouver Island.
“What I hear most from residents is the desire for a grocery store and other neighbourhood commercial amenities they can walk or cycle to in Royal Bay,” said Colwood Mayor Rob Martin. “This plan shows how those everyday needs could be met as the next step in fulfilling the community’s vision for a vibrant seaside village.”
If adopted, the proposed OCP and Zoning amendments would bring more specificity to the Official Community Plan in terms of outlining areas with distinct uses.
The Commons is a 41.5 acre area bordered by Metchosin Road and Latoria Boulevard where approximately 1,300 units of mixed-use development are proposed. This includes an 80,000 square foot retail village with plans for a grocery store, restaurants, daycare and ground floor retail.
Nine specific areas are defined to show where retail will be focused, as well as where office, residential and institutional uses are envisioned for the Commons.
The Quarry is a 66.5 acre area where a residential neighbourhood is planned with parcels designated for an elementary school, recreational and civic uses, parks and trails. Quarry Park would complement the elementary school site, and the existing Latoria Creek Park which borders the Quarry would be expanded, with multiple connections into residential areas.
Comments at the Public Hearing
Council received 49 written submissions (39 for and 10 against) and heard from 9 people (8 for and 1 against) during the July 13 Public Hearing. Many spoke in support of bringing new commercial and community amenities to the area. For full details, please watch the video and read the submissions from the Public Hearing on July 13, 2020.
Concerns centred largely around transportation and parking – challenges many growing communities are grappling with. The City is currently reviewing parking standards, and Colwood’s Official Community Plan and Transportation Master Plan focus on increasing transportation choices to create more safe and convenient ways to move within Colwood. Adding commercial amenities close to home goes hand in hand with this vision.
The City has several transportation enhancements currently underway, including a sidewalk and cycling plan, designs for sidewalk upgrades on Metchosin Road and Sooke Road, intersection upgrades at Latoria Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway, BC Transit bus lanes on Sooke Road with considerations for new sidewalks and cycling routes, concepts for a multi-use trail along the waterfront and traffic monitoring to help people plan their route and timing and give the City necessary data to synchronize signals and inform transportation improvements. Transportation modelling for long term plans to accommodate growth on Metchosin Road and Latoria Road is ongoing.
Colwood Council is scheduled to consider final adoption of the bylaws at their meeting on August 31, 2020.
At the Public Hearing, GableCraft Homes presented at timeline showing that once final approvals are in place, site preparation could begin in 2020/2021 with construction of roads, first buildings and a traffic signal at Latoria Boulevard and Metchosin Road in 2021/2022.
Sandra Russell, Communications Manager
Find this release online at www.colwood.ca/News