North Saanich OKs rezoning to allow Habitat for Humanity housing

North Saanich council has approved a plan for 17 single-family houses to be built by a developer, plus another 10 townhouse units of affordable housing for Habitat for Humanity Victoria.

The Berglund family’s Reay Developments Ltd. won approval from council on Monday for their rezoning application on property bordered by the Patricia Bay Highway, Bakerview Place and Lochside Drive.

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This plan anticipates rancher-style single-family houses on the southern portion of the property.

Reay Developments is donating a portion of the site on the southwest corner to Habitat Victoria for the non-profit organization to build its own townhouses for families needing affordable housing. The donation of that piece of land is valued at $1.2-million.

Construction by the private developer and by Habitat is expected to start next year.

Reay’s Brian Berglund said he plans to build ranchers for people who are downsizing.

The property has been the subject of previous development attempts by other owners.

Reay’s proposal tackles a challenging site. Reay Creek bisects the property. The northern portion of the site, above the creek, is contaminated because of past industrial uses upstream. A covenant is going on the property to ensure it will not be developed.

The southern section of land below the creek, which is the development site, was tested and found not to be contaminated.

Mayor Alice Finall did not oppose the project but said Tuesday that she had wanted to see the northern portion of the property remediated, which is not happening at this time.

Two small parcels of land on the eastern side of the property will go to the municipality but Finall would have liked to see a larger donation.

She was disappointed that the developer did not put in a beach access.

“Even though it is not perfect it has one redeemable quality and the redeemable quality is that it provides some affordable housing.”

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