Royal Bay - APRM's involvement over time
APRM has been actively monitoring developments at ‘Royal Bay’, aka the ‘Producer’s Pit’, since 1993, heralded by its first community-wide mail-out prophetically entitled “Life After the Pit”.
In 1999 a number of our members, in collaboration with residents from Colwood and Langford, initiated a formal request for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to address a broad range of environmental concerns arising from the cessation of the Pit operations and proposed development plans. This effort involved the garnering of over 5,000 individual signatures from all areas of the CRD requesting the intervention of the Environmental Assessment Office prior to any development.
This request also sought assurance that a long standing Order-in-Council, designating all lands east of Metchosin Road as a regional waterfront park, would be honoured. Preservation of a ‘Special Study Area’, as designated by the Ministry of Environment and located in one of few remaining forested areas within the Pit, was also sought.
Throughout this time APRM hosted a series of town hall meetings with local and provincial representatives, including an ‘Info Meeting’ at Royal Roads University as a ‘kick-off’ to the EIA request, and attended by more than 300 persons. APRM representatives also attended and spoke at numerous Public Hearings and Committee of the Whole Meetings in Colwood to give voice to the concerns of both Metchosin and regional residents.
In 2001 all hopes of a much needed EIA were dashed with a dramatic change of the provincial government. The Order-in-Council was summarily dismissed and the ‘Special Study Area’, now known as Pelican Way, was the first section of Royal Bay to be developed.
Phase 1 of Royal Bay is still under construction. Although only approx. 50% - 60% of this Phase is complete, the negative impacts of this high density housing with respect to on-site parking and inadequate parkland are already being felt.
Royal Bay – Phases 2 & 3
Here comes the Train!
Two additional development phases of the Royal Bay area are currently before the City of Colwood (April 2020): the Royal Beach and Latoria South projects.
The combined development plans for Royal Beach and Latoria South include:
Over 2,600 apartment dwelling spaces;
Over 1,500 single family units and townhomes;
Over 1 million square feet (93,375 m2) of commercial/non-residential space; and
Buildings of up to 12-storys are envisioned for the Royal Beach area.
Approval of these two developments will bring unprecedented population growth and commercial expansion and threatens to place intensive urbanization right up Metchosin’s borders. A development of this magnitude will also create significant negative impacts with respect to community resources and infrastructure, in addition to socio-economic and cultural consequences.
APRM is actively monitoring ongoing developments at Royal Bay, from both a regional and local perspective. Ongoing regional concerns include the impact of tripling Colwood’s population on: transportation corridors, grossly inadequate provision of parkland, and underlying seismic concerns, to name a few. We will continue to seek assurances that Metchosin’s interests and those of the regional population are brought to the table.