Two derelict homes on Ayre Road (6717 & 6723 Ayre Road) will be demolished and turned into ten condos. One of the houses has already been torn down, and the second one is also scheduled for demolition.
At the June 26 Regular Council meeting, elected officials from Sooke deliberated and passed the final reading of a zone-change application, changing the zoning of these two lots from the current R1 (Large Lot Residential) to RM3 (High Density Multi Family 3).
The RM3 Zone will allow for multi-family housing, to a maximum of 4-storeys (or 15 m) in height. The owner currently intends to build 10 townhouses on that site.
During the Public Hearing, two local residents expressed objections. One person had a house across the road, and he objected to the traffic congestion and parking issues that could result. He pointed out that ambulances frequently go to Ayre Manor (housing that provides independent living, assisted living and complex care for seniors), and that the roadway would need to be clear. Lastly, this person had concerns that these townhomes would impact the property value of his home.
Another person addressed the recession planes, and that this proposed development was on the wrong side of the road for these recession planes. According to the RM3 schedule, “Recession plane rules may apply for buildings and structures more than 6 m (2 storeys) in height.”
As per the staff report provided at the meeting, the applicant has to provide affordable housing or a cash-in-lieu.
“Affordable Housing is a component of the OCP that must be addressed for all proposed residential developments. The OCP requires that a minimum of 10 per cent of all new multi family and condominium units are affordable residential housing as defined by the District of Sooke. This means that the ‘affordable units’ are affordable to the lowest two income quartiles in Sooke (rental or ownership). In this instance, the developer has offered to provide $5,000 in lieu of providing an affordable housing unit.”
So, in lieu of residents having the possibility for affordable housing, the District gets money. As was explained at the previous council meeting, this money goes into a separate “pot.” Currently, according to staff at the June 12 meeting, $52,000 had already been collected. The $5,000 from this application would be added to that.
At the June 12 meeting discussing previous readings of this application, Councillor Rick Kasper objected to the $5,000 in lieu, stating it should be up to the applicant to decide how they wish to provide the affordability component, possibly by way of providing a suite at an affordable rate. He noted that that would mean more to the public than a $5,000 fee paid to the District. At this final meeting, the $5,000 in lieu was accepted without objection from any of the elected officials.
A Traffic Assessment has been completed, and there is no impact expected. The builder will have to provide 1.5 parking spots for each unit, and 15 parking spaces are proposed.