Saturday, May 05, 2012

Developments on Gorge Road

There are a couple of new proposals for along Gorge Road.  The first is at 114 and 120 Gorge Road West, on the corner with Earl Grey.

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The plan is to take three existing lots with single family homes on them and build a single 24 unit apartment building.   The building is to be four stories tall and have underground parking.   This would continue the recent increase in density in the area of Gorge and Harriet, there have been two condo developments in Saanich and one apartment building in Victoria.

These house on Gorge are two of the last four between Harriet and Tillicum.

I have several complaints.   The first one is that there has been no retail space included in the development.   If the density is going to work, there has to more places for people to walk past and make use of.   The development does nothing to improve human scale of life in the neighbourhood.

The current proposal for the site
The second is that there has been no consideration of moving the sidewalk over and leaving a strip of grass between  Gorge Road and the sidewalk.   From Balfour to Harriet there is a grass strip and this makes walking along there much more pleasant.   Walking along Gorge Road with cars going along at around 80 kmh is not fun.

The third is that the planned development will once again have a lot of dead green space around it.  Better would be allowing more density with no setbacks on Gorge Road than what is proposed.   Loreen Place on Gorge Road presents a much better face to the street.

998 Gorge Road West
The second development is 998 Gorge Road W.   This is the location of the former Brookman's Grocery that closed last year.   From what I can see of the proposed development, the buildings will be coming down.   This means the loss of some heritage buildings.  The building is on the heritage inventory for Saanich and specifically mentioned in the Tillicum Local Area Plan.

The policy from the Tillicum LAP is:

4.2 Encourage design compatibility when considering rezoning and subdivision applications, and development permits in the vicinity of heritage structures. 

The proposal is to build seniors living facility.   The proposal not only calls for the removal of the old store, but of the Cheltham Court Motel, though that does not seem like a large loss to me.
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