Affordable seniors project JV with BC Housing

Unanimously approved to proceed to public hearing.

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A rezoning application for a 97 unit, four-storey affordable seniors care complex has been given unanimous and positive approval to proceed to public hearing (third reading).

3200 Linwood Avenue, Saanich

The fee simple lands are owned by The Baptist Housing Society. They were purchased in 2014 from the Linwood Foundation, a registered charity, for $1,400,000.

Lot size: 58,830 sqft or 1.35 acres
Current Zoning: RA-1 (Apartment) Zone
Current Improvements: 29 unit walk-up apartments (1968)
Assessed Value 2019: $4,898,000
Official Community Plan: Neighbourhood
Local Area Plan: Saanich Core Multi-family
Architect: ZGF Cotter Architects Inc

The Baptist Housing Society, has partnered with BC Housing through the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation (PRHC) to sell a 1/3 portion of the suites (approx. 32 units) to BC Housing for $11,000,000. The Baptist Society will manage and execute the operations of the facility.

The affordable component aims to offer PRHC units at $825/month and Baptist Housing suites at $1,050/month. All suites will be eligible for BC Housing’s Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program, based on residents income.

The suites will be 540-635 square feet and provide bachelor and one-bedroom suites for seniors. Each unit will have a full kitchen and walk-in shower. Corner suites will have balconies.

A myriad of variances for visitor parking, lot coverage, open space area, rear year setback, building height, building width, and side yard setback for an accessory structure are requested.

The proposal

A four-storey 97 unit affordable seniors care facility.

Rezoning from RA-1 which allows a FSR of 0.55 to RA-6 which allows a maximum FSR of 1.2 – 1.4. The proposed plans show an FSR of 1.27.

The proposed land use is consistent with the official community & local area plan for mixed use (commercial/residential) generally up to four storeys.

The sloping terrain allows for inclusion of an underground parkade to be accessed at grade off Linwood Avenue. A U-shaped entry driveway would allow entrance to parkade, as well as drop off for the main entrance, covered by a port-cochere. The parkade would provide 54 parking space, with 3 additional spaces on the exterior courtyard.

BC Building Code requires buildings to achieve Step Code Level 3, and the applicant proposes to obtain Step Code Level 4.

Conclusion

This is overall a very supportive project, in a much needed sector of the housing spectrum. The Baptist Housing Society is a non-profit organization whose mission for over 55 years has been to provide housing for seniors of all income levels. This project is designed for independent seniors, but will be accessible for residents who wish to age in place.

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