Saanich council OKs plan to transform Uptown area, but wants more information

Saanich council has endorsed in principle a plan to transform the Uptown-Douglas corridor into the district’s core over the next 20 to 30 years.

But councillors made clear Monday that they want more information from staff before advancing the matter to a public hearing. They requested a supplemental report that provides more analysis of how the plan will affect businesses and economic development, and incorporates feedback from several advisory committees as well as the Saanich housing task force.

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In the works since 2015, the plan proposes to fundamentally alter the character of a 155-hectare corridor that includes the Uptown shopping centre, Saanich Plaza and the district’s municipal campus.

Key directions involve making the area more pedestrian friendly, creating a regional transit hub and spurring growth with a mix of compact, multi-unit housing.

As well, the plan proposes to retain industrial uses west of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, expand local employment opportunities and turn Oak Street into a central “high street” with a pedestrian promenade and mixed-use buildings.

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