Parking remains a small secondary concern, as Oak Bay has approved a development application for the planned new three-story commercial and multi-family residential building at 713 St. Patrick Street.
Four parking spaces and a handful of e-bikes will have to suffice as the council has approved gaps for development on the former Casey’s Market site. These include the maximum permitted building height (11 feet taller), occupancy height (10 feet taller), and number of stories and minimum number of on-site vehicle parking spaces.
A parking study shows that the maximum parking demand for the proposed development would be 10 parking spaces. Adjustments to the transportation demand measures for the proposal reduced that number to six, with all four proposed being supported by city staff.
The proposal already included a bus pass for each of the six units and six strata e-bikes with proper parking and storage with charging capabilities as well as six bicycle parking spaces for visitors. Changes include the addition of two bicycle parking spaces for employees and an electric bicycle for use by commercial tenants.
The four on-site vehicle parking spaces will be allocated to residential units.
Com. Hazel Braithwaite was the only dissenter. She noted that Oak Bay’s dated parking regulations would see 21 parking spaces overabundant, but against six would have been a good number.
“I can’t understand he’s only got four,” she said, adding that she was happy to see him move forward, but had to vote against it due to concerns about parking in the region.
The balance of the council concluded that the compromise had value.
Com. Andrew Appleton noted that this is a potential shortage of two parking spaces, which contrasts with six new rental units that the community badly needs.
“This will add much-needed rental stock,” the adviser agreed. Cairine Green.
The building that will replace the one-story structure includes approximately 1,270 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and six rental spaces on the second and third floors. Living areas would include four one-bedroom units measuring 600 square feet and two two-bedroom units measuring approximately 958 square feet. A clause guarantees that the suites must be rental units with no age restrictions and no short-term rentals.
The project also includes 24-hour restrooms for BC Transit bus operators.
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