Message from the quadra cedar hill community association

 SUBDIVISION PROPOSED FOR 1291 TRACKSELL 

(proposed access from Tattersall/James Heights) 


Dear neighbours,


A subdivision application has been submitted to Saanich Planning for 1291 Tracksell Avenue "to create 1 additional lot for single family dwelling under current RS-6 zoning resulting in a total of 2 lots". 


Although the application is to subdivide the Tracksell property, the proposed access to the new lot would be through the road allowance at Tattersall where it turns to become James Heights. The site map at https://www.saanich.ca/assets/Local~Government/Documents/ActiveApps/ 1291tracksell20191217.pdf. The landscape plan is here: https://www.saanich.ca/assets/Local~Government/Documents/ActiveApp s/1291tracksell20191217land.pdf 


The area proposed for the subdivision is an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) in Saanich's ESA Atlas and, apart from the beautiful high rocky outcrop through which any access road/driveway would need to be built, the proposed new lot is rocky with steep drop-offs to the north and east of the lot, contains innumerable Garry Oaks and several red- and blue-listed species. At its east end, the proposed new lot abuts Cedar Hill Park close to the chip trail. You will note that the site plan does not indicate where a house would be built. This is an issue as it makes it impossible to assess the full environmental impacts of any construction such as tree removal, soil disturbance, blasting, loss of ecosystem, habitat, etc. 


As stated above, the subdivision application requests RS6 zoning. Saanich's zoning bylaw for RS6 states "maximum Lot Coverage (R) of all buildings shall be 40% of the lot area". The lot area if the property were to be subdivided is 1640 square metres meaning that the footprint of an eventual home could be as large as 7061 square feet. 


The proponent is Kasapi Construction. Evidently Kasapi built many of the homes on Tracksell and Tattersall in the 1960s and, in the instance of 1291 Tracksell, they incorporated a proviso allowing them to exercise the right to subdivide for $1, which they are now doing. 


The Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association (QCHCA) is asked to comment on development proposals within our area and we base our input on what we hear from neighbours. We will be hosting a neighbours meeting on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9 from 3 - 5 PM AT THE CEDAR HILL REC  CENTRE to share what we know about the proposal to date and to hear your thoughts and concerns so we can incorporate them into our submission to the Approving Officer. Also, if you have neighbours who may not be on our email list and who you think may be interested, please pass this message along. 


Here also is a link to the page on Saanich's website related to
subdivisions https://www.saanich.ca/EN/main/local-government/development- applications/subdivisions.html. Some people have wondered whether the proposed subdivision would constitute a panhandle. There is a section about panhandles on the subdivision page including comment that says if the proposal includes one or more lots in a panhandle configuration, "application must be referred to Council for consideration of a request to waive the 10% perimeter road frontage requirement" and provides a link to the related Council policy. Among other things, the policy states that "When reviewing an application for exemption the Council shall consider the following: (a) whether the reduced frontage of the proposed lot will adversely affect the streetscape or result in conflict with existing driveways, intersections or natural features; and d) the extent of blasting, filling, excavating and tree removal to be carried out to develop the proposed lot"; both of which would be relevant to this application. 


Five members of the Association met with the proponent on the proposed lot and, during discussions, suggested Kasapi might be better off donating the land to Saanich given the challenges associated with a means of access, with potential neighbourhood push-back, with trying to develop on the lot, its environmentally important status and its adjacency to Cedar Hill Park. 


We hope to see you at the neighbourhood meeting on February 9th from 3 - 5pm at the Cedar Hill Rec Centre but meanwhile, if you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at Susan.haddon2@gmail.com or call 250.590.3856. Also, if you write to the Approving Officer, Ms. Liz Gudavicius, please cc the QCHCA so we are aware of and can incorporate your comments in our submission. 


Thank you!
Susan Haddon, President, QCHCA