This week, the planning commission recommended approval of the project, subject to completion of a parking study, development-services director Bill Brown said Friday.
The West Victoria Seniors Independent Living and Legion project will be built on the corner of Admirals and Esquimalt roads, at the site of the existing legion. The building will consist of 12 senior housing units for veterans managed by the legion, 140 independent-living apartments for seniors, a new legion facility and 1,200 square feet of commercial space.
“These units will have small kitchenettes, but there’s a big dining room on the main floor and a commercial kitchen. So the 140 residents will be able to eat in a big communal dining room,” said Brown.
The average age of residents is expected to be between 82 and 92, he said.
Although the project was held up several times, the height of the building is no longer an issue, said Brown. The 12-storey structure conforms to the official community plan.
The main thing now is parking, said Brown. The developer has been asked to submit a parking study to confirm that the number of stalls will be adequate.
The current plan calls for 86 parking spaces, which includes parking for the new legion and commercial spaces.
“There hasn’t been one of these types of facilities built in Victoria for some years, but there have been in the Lower Mainland,” said Brown. “So they’re going to check out parking for this type of facility in the Lower Mainland to find out what the ratio is between units and parking stalls.”
Disabled parking is also an issue, said Brown, since the new building will need space for vehicles that accommodate wheelchairs.
When the parking study is complete and the developer provides a computer model, the proposal will come before council, likely sometime in January or February, said Brown.
Mayor Barb Desjardins said after council looks at it, a public hearing would be scheduled.
“I think this is really exciting for Esquimalt. It will add a lot of animation to the street. It contains community space, which will be an auditorium,” said Brown.
Plans for the facility call for two rooftop gardens, along with a lounge and private library that looks east towards the City of Victoria.
“On their plans, it says there’s a piano bar,” said Brown. “It might be a fun place to live.”
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