Densification of Brentwood and Saanichton village core was reviewed during earlier phases of the project and the policies below have already been approved. No new Land Use Bylaw regulations were adopted for these policy changes.
New policies for densification in the Village centres include:
- Support up to 5-storey buildings in the commercial core areas, these developments could be mixed-use buildings with lower level commercial with residential uses above.
- Support buildings taller than 5-storeys if a significant community benefit is included, such as: affordable, seniors, or supportive housing; public plaza or community space; significant pedestrian/cycling infrastructure; having one floor dedicated to medical services; being a very energy efficient building; or contributing to or providing another identified amenity.
- Support increased density along main travel corridors close to the village centres, small commercial nodes, and public transit. This could be in the form of townhouses or apartment buildings up to 4 storeys.
These types of development will remain subject to the existing Residential Multi-family and Commercial/ Mixed-use Development Permit Area guidelines.
Parking and traffic concerns are often raised when new developments are proposed, regardless if a variance to reduce parking is requested. Realizing this is a subject matter that needs to be looked at more closely, the OCP amendments include two new policies:
- Update the off-site servicing standards to include on-street parking as part of the frontage improvements, in balance with other priorities for use of the roadways such as sidewalks, street trees, and bike lanes.
- Consider establishing a Parking Fund to collect cash-in-lieu payments when a variance is granted, that would be used to improve public parking and alternative transit infrastructure.
Another project initiative currently underway in the District is the development of an Active Transportation Plan, which would help identify priority locations where pedestrian and cycling improvements are most needed, and where new pathways can improve connectivity throughout the District.
One of the key objectives to this project is to increase housing diversity to provide a wider range of houses options suitable for people of all ages and abilities.
Through this project, policy amendments in the OCP address improving accessibility by:
- including a new policy to specifically encourage accessible design standards in new developments,
- identifying fully accessible housing as one of the housing needs that would be supported, and
- including a new policy to undertake a review of accessibility standards and best practices in the future that may include further Land Use Bylaw and Building Bylaw amendments.
New parking regulations for accessible parking spaces were recently adopted by Council. The province is reviewing the topic of accessibility as well and changes to BC Building Code are anticipated that would provide guidance for a future review, particularly changes to construction standards.
Infill increases housing options, such as more townhouses, condos and rental housing. The ability to have legal suites also makes home ownership more attainable. The OCP policies continue to encourage the development of affordable housing. The issues around achieving affordable housing will be looked at more closely as part of the OCP Review project.