New Proposal for Gordon Head Road at Feltham

Saturday, August 1, 2020 12:33 PM

New Proposal for Gordon Head Road at Feltham

Description:  To rezone from RS-10 (Single Family Dwelling) to a New Comprehensive Zone to construct a 77 unit mixed-use 4-storey building and 23 3-Storey Town house units.

This is our response to Saanich on this proposal:

February 14, 2020

Gina Lyons

Planner, District of Saanich

Re: Referral to Gordon Head Residents Association, 4080 Gordon Head Road

The Gordon Head Residents Association (GHRA) does not support this proposed project.

On this 0.69 ha (1.7 acre) lot surrounded on all sides by single family homes, Abstract Developments,

the new applicant, proposes a four storey, 76 unit residential building, plus 23 three storey

townhouses. This is a density of 144 units per hectare (58 units per acre), similar to or greater than

recent proposals for multi-family dwellings in Gordon Head that –unlike this proposal—are in or close

to the “McKenzie-Shelbourne (a.k.a. University) Major Centre” or “Feltham Village”, that are

designated for higher densities.

The Gordon Head Local Area Plan Map 5.1, “Subdivision Potential”, identifies this site for single

family dwelling subdivision potential. It is not identified on Map 5.2, “Multi Family Housing”, as being a

multi-family site.

In a previous proposal by a different applicant, plans for approximately 30 three storey townhouses

were presented to both the GHRA and Saanich Planning staff. The GHRA was so concerned about

this major increase in density from the Local Area Plan’s single-family designation that two Board

members met with Saanich Planning staff to discuss our concerns. While Saanich staff emphasized

that they only responded to formal applications, reservations about the townhouse proposal were

expressed, based in part on increased density, probable neighbourhood opposition, parking, traffic,

intersection safety, and emergency vehicle access considerations.

This previous applicant withdrew the townhouse proposal and submitted an application for a sevenlot

subdivision, which the GHRA supported in its December 1, 2018 response to the Saanich referral.

Assuming secondary suites and/or garden suites, this would have resulted in an acceptable moderate

increase in density when compared to surrounding areas.

We are again being asked to provide comments, this time on a proposal for 99 residential units.

Abstract representatives presented their proposal at a GHRA Board meeting on February 11, 2020.

The presentation was also attended by approximately 20 residents who outlined several reasons

why they opposed this proposal. It was noted that, of the approximately 60 residents of Graduation

Place, Lifton Place, Longview Drive, and Feltham Road who responded to an informal (door to door)

poll, only one did not object to it. Some of those polled had attended an Abstract sponsored “open

house” on November 21, 2019; many others were not aware of it.

The GHRA’s main reasons why it does not support this latest proposal are:

1. It would contravene the Official Community Plan, which states that new multiple family residential

development in Gordon Head is to be focused in the McKenzie-Shelbourne Major Centre and Feltham


2. It would violate the Gordon Head Local Area Plan, which identifies this site for single family

subdivision potential.

3. It would increase traffic at what is already a dangerous and at times congested intersection at

Gordon Head Road, Feltham Road, and Graduation Place. This intersection is experiencing

increased volumes as University of Victoria commuter traffic attempts to avoid McKenzie congestion.

4. The number of on-site parking stalls proposed for residents (107) and visitors (10) for the 99 units

and proposed coffee shop is likely insufficient, which would result in spillover to adjacent residential


5. The height and massing of the proposed buildings is completely out of scale with the

neighbourhood character.

As concerned residents have noted in their correspondence with Saanich, the development of 4080

Gordon Head Road needs to be scaled down significantly if it is to conform to the goals and policies

of Saanich’s adopted plans and to benefit from the support of more Gordon Head residents.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Christine Poirier-Skelton, Chair

Gordon Head Residents’ Association