385 housing units pitched for Trio site in Cordova Bay

Aragon Properties is proposing to build a phased mixed-use development with 385 housing units on the former Trio Ready-Mix site in Cordova Bay.

Rezoning applications were submitted last week to Saanich, supplementing earlier documents for the 26-acre property, said David Roppel of Vancouver-based Aragon.

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“It’s a diverse and heavily landscaped open-space community. It’s not a gated community,” Roppel said. “It’s an extension of the neighbourhood that offers a range of housing types.”

A small commercial component would also be created, he added.

The range of housing would suit families, seniors and first-time buyers, Roppel noted. Plans call for fee-simple attached row houses, detached houses and multi-family homes. Prices have not been set yet.

Multi-family heights would be four, five and six storeys on the west side of the site, Roppel said.

The site is bordered by Alderley and Cordova Bay roads.

Aragon is seeking a new comprehensive development zone that would allow it to roll out its project in eight phases over about eight years.

A total of 8.8 per cent of the site would be devoted to pedestrian trails and park areas, Roppel said. This could include playground equipment, exercise sites and benches. As well, the company is proposing to extend the sidewalk and bike lanes on Fowler Road to Cordova Bay Road.

Before drawing up plans, Aragon met with community residents to hear what they wanted to see on the property.

Larry Gontovnick, vice-president of the Cordova Bay Association for community affairs, said the organization has facilitated community consultation. The developer is attending its Oct. 14 board meeting. “We will work with them and Saanich in addressing the concerns of the neighbourhood, which primarily will be traffic,” said Gontovnick.

The project will transform the high-profile site in Cordova Bay, where gravel was mined until the early 2000s. Neighbours in that area had complained for years about noise, trucks and odours at the former industrial site.

Aragon, which bought the English Inn in Esquimalt this year, is an experienced developer, with multi-family projects in areas such as New Westminster, Vancouver and Toronto.

The construction cost has not been determined as yet, Roppel said.

If all goes smoothly, Aragon would like to see construction begin in late summer or early fall of next year, he said.

Neil Findlow, senior Saanich planner, said the proposal will be examined by municipal departments, the community association and other stakeholders before going to Saanich committees. After that process, a staff report will go to council members who decide if the project will go to a public hearing.

A comprehensive application such as this could take six months to a year to be dealt with, Findlow said.

www.cordovabayplanning.com

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