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Saanich condo and rental building pass public-hearing stage

A condominium project at the Glanford Avenue site of the former Bird of Paradise Pub — now the Bird Pub — has passed the public-hearing stage in Saanich by a vote of 8-1.

A condominium project at the Glanford Avenue site of the former Bird of Paradise Pub — now the Bird Pub — has passed the public-hearing stage in Saanich by a vote of 8-1.

The project includes plans for 252 condominiums in buildings up to 10 storeys, a medical clinic and 49 daycare spots.

The proposal, called Mateah, is another example of Saanich council trying to “move the dial on daycare,” said Mayor Fred Haynes.

“We put out a call to all the developers to include daycare,” said Haynes, noting the recently approved $230-million University Heights redevelopment will also include a daycare.

He said the arrangement worked out with Mateah calls for a 10-year free rental for the daycare operator, and was planned some time ago by developer Mike Geric Construction after consultation with the municipality.

An agreement has been signed by the company with the YM-YWCA to provide the service.

Haynes said aside from the medical clinic and daycare, other possible amenities to be considered are a coffee shop or a small restaurant.

“And it’s just minutes away from Royal Oak Shopping Centre, so it really is a vibrant, livable community.”

Twenty-five, or 10 per cent, of the condominiums will be offered at 10 per cent below Canada and Mortgage Housing Corporation market rates for 10 years. “That came from them listening to council in the previous meeting,” Haynes said.

Also approved at the public hearing was a four-storey, 68-unit rental building in Royal Oak on Normandy Road close to the area’s transit exchange on Elk Lake Drive.

The building by Aryze Developments fits with the existing local area plan, which has a four-storey maximum, said Haynes, noting the applicant first asked for six storeys before coming back with four.

He said both projects are dedicated to “the highest environmental standards” and include things like vehicle chargers. He said there is also a “car light” approach, which stresses putting buildings near transit and cycling routes while also having an allowance for fewer parking spots.

That can mean doing away with having two parking stalls per unit and adding more stalls for bicycles, he said.

The projects taken together are “a really significant move ahead,” Haynes said.

“These absolutely fit the future vision of the housing strategy and they’re also on what we would call the corridors, centres and villages.”

They are expected to return to council for a final vote in two to three months.

jbell@timescolonist.com