HOUSING PROJECT NEWS
We are celebrating the unanimous decision of the Saanich Council who approved the re-zoning application for our intergenerational affordable housing to proceed on 2nd and 3rd readings (January 18, 2022). Final reading is pending. We together with our partners at Lutheran Church of the Cross have delighted in the vision of seniors and students living together. With gratitude to all who have worked so hard to bring us to this day. Check back here for more information on how you can participate.
In 2016 Luther Court Society (LCS) and Lutheran Church of the Cross (LCC) embarked on an affordable housing project with the vision to create an Intergenerational Affordable Housing Project to bring together and build community between moderate to low-income independent seniors and students. In line with both LCS and LCC’s values and mandate, the goal for this project is to create a place to nurture intergenerational interaction, create an environment that provides residents with access to a broad range of health and wellness resources (a primary care clinic), enhance the overall connectivity of the campus, create an intentional community, and create affordable housing.
Since the project started, a lot of progress and a few changes have been made! In the Fall of 2016, LCS and LCC contracted M’akola Development Services to conduct feasibility and need and demand studies. These studies highlighted the current affordability crisis, emphasizing a high need and demand for affordable long-term rentals, as well as proving feasibility of the redevelopment project. Since 2016, important site due diligence has been completed, the design team has been procured and preliminary designs and drawings have been developed and refined.
In the summer of 2019 designs were presented to the community through a series of open houses which showcased the mixed-use building consisting of 90 affordable rental units, with a mix of studio and one-bedroom units designated for seniors and post-secondary students. Initially, the project was designed to include a Community Health Centre within the building for residents and community members, and to provide communal amenity spaces such as a dining room and a possible Grade 4/5 Classroom in partnership with School District 61. You can view the slides from the July 2019 Open House presentation here.
The project designs have shifted since 2019 to slightly increase the number of new affordable units on the site and to better meet funder requirements. Key changes include:
- Relocation of the proposed Community Health Centre from the new building to the ground floor of the existing Luther Court Society building. This change allows the addition of 17 extra units to the new building with minimal changes to the exterior. The project will now provide 95 units of housing, 78 one- bedroom units for seniors and 17 studio units for students.
- Updates to landscaping including removal of a road access and four parking stalls provided along Cedar Hill Rd and replacing with landscaping. In the updated designs vehicle access to the parkade will be a single driveway on Cedar Hill Road which further reduces impact on that intersection.
- The project will now provide 73 parking stalls in an underground parkade, representing a net increase of 42 parking stalls onsite. A total of 123 parking stalls will be provided for whole campus and Luther Court Society and Lutheran Church of the Cross have entered into a shared parking agreement.
- An updated Traffic Impact Assessment and Parking Study has found that the proposed development is not expected to have a significant impact on intersection operations and that the proposed number of parking stalls is adequate.
The project is proposing a rezoning for the site from the current P-1 Assembly Zone and RS-6 Single Family Zone to a Comprehensive Development Zone to permit the proposed form of development and density required to accommodate the mixed uses proposed for this site. The rezoning application for the site is currently under review – check back for updates on zoning application and public hearing dates.
We are also asking for a parking variance to reduce required parking ratio for the 17 student units to 1.0 stall per unit, rather than the current Saanich requirement of 1.5 stalls per unit. We feel this requested variance is reasonable because students have a history of very low or no car ownership in the existing student units onsite and this location is ideally located close to transit hubs. The traffic study notes that student parking demand is likely less than 0.5 stalls per unit and supports this variance.
During the construction process, the existing tenants on site in the South Wing will be displaced. LCS, LCC and M’akola Development Services are working on a comprehensive tenant relocation plan to ensure there are minimal effects on tenants, and those displaced have a safe, affordable and appropriate place to call home during the construction process.
You can view more a more detailed drawing package here.
Building Committee: The building committee is composed of representatives from both the Luther Court Society, and the Lutheran Church of the Cross. The building committee represents both organizations and is active in the decision-making process.
Development Consultant: M’akola Development Services (MDS) has been engaged by Luther Court Society to provide development consulting services. MDS acts as client representative, overseeing design, construction and beginning of operations. MDS’ role includes:
- Procure and manage full design team and construction manager
- Developing the project proforma
- Liaising with the municipal, provincial, and federal government; supporting the municipal permit and approval processes
- Collaboration with rest of project team to plan and facilitate community engagement events
- Securing funding sources for the project
Architect: Studio 531 Architects Inc. has been engaged by the Luther Court Society as the architect for the project. The architect is in charge of leading the consultant team (engineers etc.) and creating a design that meets the project requirements. The architect is also responsible for managing the municipal approvals, community/stakeholder engagement, and ensuring that the building is designed as per the relevant codes and standards.
Consultants: The full design team has not yet been engaged, but will include structural, mechanical, electrical, and geotechnical engineers. Consultants already working on this project include:
- Landscape: Keith N. Grant Landscaping
- Arborist: Talbot Mackenzie & Associates
- Civil Engineering: Herold Engineering
- Energy Model: Morrison Hershfield
FUNDING AND SUPPORT
This housing project has received initial financial support from BC Housing and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to advance feasibility studies and early design work. Following successful rezoning we will be submitting comprehensive funding applications to both funders in order achieve full funding for the project and move forward towards construction. The project will meet BC Housing and CMHC standards in order to qualify for project and construction funding. These high standards affect all aspects of design including unit size, unit count, energy performance and materials and finishes.
For more information on this project contact:
Karen A. Johnson-Lefsrud
Chief Executive Officer
Luther Court Society – A Community of Care
1525 Cedar Hill Cross Road
Victoria, B. C. V8P 5M1