Tillicum Rd/Obed Ave/Albina St
Ironclad Developments understands nearby residents may be interested in the development process.
Neighbours are encouraged to learn about the development proposal and fill out an online survey at the end of the project landing page.
The site is located in the Tillicum neighbourhood of Saanich, BC. The site itself constitutes half a city block, bounded by Tillicum Rd to the west, Obed Ave to the south and Albina St to the east. The site is conveniently located within walking distance to a number of landmarks and amenities, including the Tillicum Centre mall, Gorge Park, GR Pearkes Rec Centre, as well as a variety of local restaurants, retail outlets and service establishments.
The site location is one of the only areas in the Tillicum neighbourhood identified as a future site for mid-rise apartment housing, as envisioned by the Tillicum Local Area Plan (2000). Tillicum Rd is intended to transform into the Main Street of an urban village and Saanich planning policy encourages redevelopment of properties along Tillicum Rd up to eight stories in height.
Ironclad Developments has been in correspondence with Saanich District officials for a rezoning and development permit application. Both applications were submitted to the District of Saanich in August, 2021.
Ironclad Developments is exploring design options that will meet the objectives of the Tillicum Local Area Plan Design Guidelines and be contextually sensitive to the community.
Two Building Proposed:
6- Storeys along Tillicum Rd & 5-Storeys along Albina St
Resident Amenity Space
Pre-Application Meeting with the City
Conduct Professional Studies for Traffic, Civil Servicing & Environmental Assessment
Host Meetings with Adjacent Neighbours
Receive & Review Feedback
Submit Re-zoning and Development Permit Applications to the District of Saanich.
Reviewed by District Staff
Host Round 2
Meetings with Adjacent Neighbours & Community
Present to Advisory Design Panel (‘ADP’)
Revisions to Architectural Package
First Council Hearing
Notify Community & Present at Public Hearing
Anticipate Re-zoning & Development Permit Approvals
Anticipate Building Permit
Q: Why is the site being rezoned?
A: All 14 lots in this site assembly are zoned ‘RS-1’ according to the Saanich District zoning by-law [No. 8200], which only permits the construction of single-family housing and accessory buildings. Ironclad Developments must apply to the District of Saanich to re-zone the lands to a zone that permits apartment housing – in this case, we will apply to re-zone the site to the ‘RA-10’ zone.
Q: Why are apartment buildings being proposed on this site?
A: Saanich District has had policies for decades that encourage the redevelopment of properties along major corridors such as Tillicum Rd. The intent is that higher-density redevelopment will make efficient use of infrastructure such as roads and public transit, and support local commercial establishments. The subject site has been identified by the District as a viable location for apartment housing since 1989, and is specifically highlighted in the Tillicum Local Area Plan (2000). More recently, the District published a Housing Needs Assessment (2020), specifically highlighting the urgent need for more purpose-built rental housing throughout Saanich to address the chronic housing shortage.
Q: Will the project be proposing any improvements to Tillicum Road? What about Obed Avenue or Albina Street?A: Ironclad Developments will be required to upgrade all underground utilities and all three streets. More specifically, Ironclad Developments will build sidewalks and landscaped boulevards (which will include street trees) along Tillicum Rd, Albina St and Obed Ave. Ironclad Developments will also dedicate property to the District of Saanich in order to extend the existing bike lane south, eventually terminating at Gorge Rd.
Q: Will there be sufficient parking for the potential tenants?
A: Yes, Ironclad Developments will provide vehicular parking for residents and additional parking for visitors. Additional space for bicycle parking and e-scooters will also be provided, and car-share vehicular parking is being explored
Q: How long will construction take?
A: Approximately 18 months after the development permit has been issued.
Q: Are there existing developments in the area that are comparable to the proposed building heights?
A: Yes, adjacent developments ranges from four to six stories. Recent projects at 300 Gorge Rd and 2933 Albina Ave have been approved with heights at five stories. Additional projects currently in the pipeline propose building heights on Tillicum Rd at six stories and above.
Q: Who are the targeted demographics of the apartment rental units?
A: The housing units are suitable for families, young professionals, retirees and students. The unit composition will include 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms.
Q: Is there a Market Demand for rental properties?
A: Yes, the community continues to show strong demand for quality rental housing in close proximity to good transit service.
Questions from Neighbours
The webinar was attended by 39 people, with the Q&A session of the program lasting for nearly an hour and a half. During this session, a number of themes/concerns were raised, namely:
Incorporating mixed-use/commercial into development
The walkability of the area
Parking for both current residents and for the development
Impact on schools
Ironclad Developments appreciates the time people have taken to provide us with their comments and takes these concerns very seriously. The renderings provided are for information purposes only and will be refined during the planning review process. The form and character of the proposal will likely remain the same. We have updated the FAQ section below and have transcribed the questions asked during the Q&A session.
Q: What percentage of vehicles would use either entrance? Can you anticipate the number of ins and outs per day?
A: The Obed entrance will be used less often than the Albina entrance, as the Obed entrance will provide access to 27 parking spaces, while the Albina entrance will provide access to 231 spaces. According to the Traffic Impact Study that will be included with our submission, the development proposal as a whole is anticipated to generate less than 77 trips during morning peak hours and less than 94 trips during afternoon peak hours.
Q: Are parking spots paid by space per month?
A: ICD typically unbundles the price of parking from the rents charged, so parking will be a separate charge for tenants.
Q: Can you kindly explain more fully the economic argument that pushes you to the proposed height?
A: Saanich requires that any development pay to upgrade on-site and off-site infrastructure that will be impacted by future development (i.e roads, sewers, waterlines, etc.) Much of the existing infrastructure on this site is obsolete and in need of extensive upgrades – for example, the sewer lines connecting most houses in the neighbourhood were installed 100 years ago. Multi-family apartment housing is the most optimal development form that will recoup all the costs needed to upgrade the local infrastructure.
Q: How many visitor parking spaces are you considering?
A: 64 visitors spaces are proposed for this development
Q: Will the boulevards be maintained when the sidewalks are installed?
A: As the boulevards are public property, Saanich will be responsible for maintaining the boulevards.
Q: How do you guarantee that residents aren’t parking on the street [and not on-site]?
A: According to the Traffic Impact Study and Parking Management Plan prepared by a licensed traffic engineer, the proposed parking supply is expected to be more than adequate for the expected demand for spaces. However, should parking spill onto local streets, Saanich could move to implement parking restrictions, such as two-hour parking limits.
Q: Do you presently own the entire site?
A: ICD currently has a conditional offer to purchase all 14 properties in this assembly.
Q: You mentioned there was going to be traffic signals at Tillicum and Obed and a bus shelter would be installed. There’s already a traffic signal and a bus shelter which, there seems to be a high number of collisions at the intersection and with more people, I don’t understand how it can be improved.
A: Saanich has asked we examine the feasibility of upgrading the existing traffic signal at Tillicum and Obed to a fully-signalized intersection. This means signals would be installed at eastbound and westbound Obed Ave at, as well as crosswalk signals on each street in all directions. Saanich Engineering staff will make a decision during the rezoning process.
Saanich has required that ICD install a crosswalk at the Tillicum and Obed intersection, which will improve the convenience and safety of pedestrians. In addition, ICD will replace the existing bus shelter with a larger shelter, and re-position the shelter to improve loading for transit vehicles.
Q: Based on your experience how many elementary school kids would move into your building? Are there any considerations towards helping out the school?
A: It is difficult to predict how many school-aged children will become future residents, as it depends on factors such as local demographics, family sizes and overall housing affordability. In B.C., municipalities have the ability to collect funds from development projects – portions of which are allotted to school divisions. These fees are called Community Amenity Contributions (‘CACs’). These fees can be used to acquire land for new schools, expand existing schools, or pay for school amenities, including playground equipment or improve sports fields. ICD will pay CACs to Saanich when the building permit is issued.
Q: What is the planned distribution of bedroom counts?
A: ICD is proposing 214 residential suites – of this total, 40 are bachelor's suites, 95 are one-bedroom suites, 74 are two-bedroom suites and five (5) are three-bedroom suites.
Q: How is the shadow study being conducted? Are you taking a year to do it or are you extrapolating data?
A: A shadow study has been completed and is included below. The times of the study are for four (4) time periods over the summer and winter solstices, and spring and fall equinoxes – these represent the longest and shortest days of the year and represent the most extreme areas where shadows are cast.
Q: When will the shading study be complete and if there’s a plan to disseminate the results to residents in the area?
A: A shadow study has been completed and is included below.
Q: How much will parking spaces be costing the residents?
A: Parking spaces rates have not been determined at this stage; however, ICD typically charges approximately $100 per space per month.
Q: Do your buildings have pet policies?
A: All of our buildings are pet-friendly.
Q: How far away is the curb from the street [like Tillicum Rd]?
A: A landscaped boulevard will be maintained on all three streets, ranging from 2.35 metres to 2.5 metres in width.
Q: Can you remove a floor on the Albina building, so that the Tillicum building is seven stories and the Albina building be three stories?
A: Under the B.C. Building Code, our buildings are limited to six stories in height. ICD is currently exploring options to shift the half-floor of the Albina building to the Tillicum building so the Albina building would be four (4) stories in height.
Q: If Saanich is looking at changing the plans for this area, wouldn’t it make sense to wait for some of that decision-making to take place?
A: Saanich Planning staff have no plans to update or amend planning policies to the Tillicum neighbourhood. Please contact the Saanich planning department at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on planning policies or strategies.
Q: What will the rents be? Will there be a mix of rental and ownership?
A: Each suite in this development will be purpose-built rental. Rents have not been determined at this stage – please visit http://ironcladdevelopments.ca to learn more about our projects and rents for similar suites.
Q: What was your design process for this building?
A: The design was primarily inspired by the design guidelines of the Tillicum Centre Local Area Plan. The intent of the guidelines is to encourage new building forms that respects the existing community’s character, and to facilitate a walkable public realm. The design guidelines strongly encourage new buildings designed in the ‘west coast style’ – this architectural style employs open floor plans, modern clean lines, flat roofs, and uses natural building materials including cedar and glass. The building’s design will be further refined when the project will appear before the Saanich Advisory Design Panel, which is expected to be in September, 2021.
Q: To improve the area for all residents and make Tillicum more active will ICD consider including commercial in the proposal?
A: Yes, ICD has taken this feedback and is looking to include a 580 sq.ft. commercial space facing Tillicum Rd in our submission. In addition, several ground floor suites on Tillicum will be converted into live/work units. Below is a rendering of the Tillicum Rd frontage: patio space, outdoor seating areas and weather-protecting features that will be incorporated. There location is near the middle of the block and is more central and will enable easier accessibility for everyone.
*FAQs will be revised after each round of Virtual Public Engagement Meetings