Central Saanich council has approved a housing project that will add 236 rental units to the municipality.
The rental units would be the second of three phases in the housing project. The first phase included a five-story 38 unit condominium, building, eight duplex homes, and nine townhomes. The third phase, which was also approved at Monday’s meeting, includes a six-story 50-unit condominium and 14 townhouses.
In a November 2020 Housing Needs study, Central Saanich anticipated there would be a deficit of 557 housing units between 2020-2025.
While debating approving the units, councillors noted this project would cover about 42 per cent of the anticipated needed units.
Starlight Developments, the company building the project, says the building will include one, two, and three-bedroom units.
Ryan Windsor, mayor of Central Saanich, noted that between about 1977 and 2013, there were zero rental projects built in the municipality.
“That was the report we got and it was a stark reminder that [rental housing is] needed, that the rental housing stock is aging,” Windsor said.
Councillor Carl Jensen says this project meets a need that has been identified in the community.
“The current housing supply for purchase and rentals has just not kept pace with the demand,” Jensen said.
“I believe regardless of their socio-economic status, [people] should be able to choose to live here as well if they’d like…they should have the option to live here and I think we need to see what we can do to provide as much variety for them as we can in terms of inclusive and diverse housing accommodations.”
As part of the project, the developer says it will provide a booklet of 10 bus tickets shall be provided to each tenant of the building that would not rent a parking space, up to a total amount of $10,000 and will be providing a contribution of $15,000 toward pedestrian improvements at the intersection of Lochside Drive and James Island Road.
Additionally, the developer indicated there were conversations with carshare companies to have a vehicle based on the project site, to further encourage residents to consider alternatives to owning a personal vehicle.
Construction for the project at 2515 Hackett Crescent is expected to start between April and June this year. There is not yet an estimation on when the project will be complete.
This project was approved unanimously, though Nial Paltiel declared a conflict of interest and excused himself from the discussion and vote.