Asked and Answered

Here are answers to questions that we have received about the Draft Local Area Plan. This list will be regularly updated as new questions are received.

  1. Why is Saanich proposing a unique Ridge node area, with unique housing policies, for a few streets surrounding the school and church on the Ridge? Why not apply this to other parts of the Ridge where there may be many more opportunities for housing diversity?

    Answer: The planning concept is to create a slightly more dense core in the centre of the Ridge, that is walkable to community land uses such as a school, a church, recreational facilities, community services, small-scale commercial, as well as transit. The density would lessen as you move away from the core to the larger lots on the edge of Cordova Bay, and then to the rural areas. Almost like a small village for the Ridge. This could take some years to occur due to the relatively young age of housing stock, and in some cases, the possibility of lot assembly.

  2. What are the other "innovative housing forms" referred to in the Draft Plan? Can you please provide examples beyond garden suites, houseplexes, and townhouses that have already been identified?

    Answer: This could be innovations in ownership like housing co-ops, freehold rowhouses, or Abbeyfield-types of shared senior accommodations. Or it could be innovations in building form such as small cluster housing developments or other attached forms that traditional zoning may not anticipate.

    Housing types in Saanich are predominately single detached and apartment. Support for “innovative housing forms” invites consideration for providing housing for a broader range of household composition, household size, and other needs.

  3. The Draft Plan contains a policy for the Ridge sub-area that states, “Consider increased density, height, and a broader range of uses than permitted in current zoning for church and school institutional sites where affordable housing or community services will be provided.”

    Is anything specifically being considered for the church and school lands? Is anything contemplated for Claremont-Goddard Park?

    Answer: At this time, nothing specific is being considered. Many churches are experiencing diminishing congregations and are looking for ways to continue to serve their communities, such as by providing affordable housing and seniors’ housing. This policy reflects the serious need for affordable housing in our community.

    We are not aware of the consideration of any land use changes by the School Board.

    There are no plans for any changes in land use for Claremont-Goodard Park, which is owned by Saanich.

  4. In the Ridge sub-area section, the Draft Plan notes that the Ridge node would support small-scale commercial uses. What would be an example of that?

    Answer: Some examples include a coffee shop or small retail store.

  5. The Draft Plan says that development permit area guidelines for the Village already exist and need to be updated. Are these guidelines currently on Saanich website?  Where can they be viewed?

    Answer: A link to the existing Development Permit Guidelines has been added to the project web page at and you can access them here.

  6. In the Village Sub-Area Plan, a reference is made to “walking distance.” How is “walking distance” determined?

    Answer: “Walking distance” is the distance that most people will walk to access shops, services, and amenities. This distance is based on 10-minute access and can be between 500 and 800 metres depending on things like topography, quality of walking routes and walking network connections.

  7. Village Attached Residential has been added along Cordova Bay Road since the public last saw the Village land use designations map. Why?

    Answer: This designation was added because these parcels along the Cordova Bay Road are within easy walking distance of the Village, transit, and local amenities such as the beach, and support the goals for expanding housing options, especially within the Village and close to amenities. 

  8. Village Attached Residential is shown to support building heights at 2 to 3 storeys with an FSR of up to 0.9 (Figure 10.2). Can you confirm the maximum height supported by the Draft Plan for the parcels identified as Village Attached between Haliburton Road and the Village Core? What is the density (FSR) likely to be?

    Answer: The Draft Plan supports 2 storeys for these parcels (Map 10.2), consistent with a single-family home. The density is not intended to be the maximum here given the two-storey limit. The FSR of about 0.7 is more likely and a policy should be added to reflect this – this will be added to the next draft.