The proposal was approved by Langford Council at second and third reading last Monday, after staff heard from more than 30 speakers who attended in-person or called in, and following a positive report from Langford planning staff.
Formwell’s proposal re-envisions new family-oriented three and four-bedroom townhomes for the 4.07-acre property, which currently houses two aging single-family homes built in the 1970’s.
Situated in the growing South Langford neighbourhood, the Klahanie Drive proposal will establish new homes 250 metres from a future elementary school planned for the corner of Latoria Road and Klahanie Drive, and proposed transit and bike lane infrastructure improvements along Latoria Road. The site is also minutes away from planned amenities envisioned as part of the Olympic View Masterplan immediately to the east.
Consisting of both single-family residential and townhouse forms, the South Langford neighbourhood has seen a large volume of re-development over the last several years. The project drew mixed opinions with questions from neighbours, including if townhouses were most appropriate for the site, along with concerns around parking and road access. Support for the proposal largely cited the need for more efficient, missing-middle housing forms in the neighbourhood, and many residents wanted to see new community greenspace.
“The West Shore is in a time of rapid change, with significant population and housing growth over the last several years. We recognize the ongoing and increasing need for housing diversity and specifically, more attainable housing options across the region, and we are so pleased that Council shares this vision,” said Formwell co-founder, Sam Ganong.
“Townhomes can play an important role in bridging the housing gap for families while minimizing sprawl, and we believe Klahanie represents an excellent opportunity to provide more diverse, attainable and climate-friendly options that will help satisfy the increasing need for housing in the growing South Langford community,” added Ganong.
The company’s vision for Klahanie seeks to respond to the neighbourhood’s mixed urban residential and rural character with a site design that includes key defining characteristics like a buffered greenspace around the perimeter of the property, open site greenspace exceeding 50% of the total site coverage, and the contribution of a new half-acre naturalized community greenspace for the City of Langford. Trees that are unable to be retained in the new design will be replanted working in partnership with Tree Canada at a replacement ratio of ten-to-one, a commitment that far exceeds local municipal bylaws or replacement requirements in the CRD.
In addition to the site design and greenspace considerations, the proposal includes several climate-friendly elements like induction cooking, electric heat pumps, while solar and EV-ready homes are designed to reduce residents’ reliance on fossil fuels. The company’s building practice also includes the use of carbon-capturing concrete, and sustainably forested lumber.
The team at Formwell are no strangers to the missing-middle townhome type. Currently under construction, Formwell’s 34-townhome Washington
project is slated to complete this summer. Washington transformed three former single-family homes in the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood, representing the largest townhome project to be approved in the City of Victoria in more than a decade.
In addition to its Langford proposal, the company is currently in the initial stages of the application process with Colwood to establish new three and four-bedroom townhomes at 641 Latoria Road, just around the corner form the Klahanie site. The company has been working on ongoing engagement efforts and the proposal is expected to go before Colwood council later this spring.
In Saanich’s Cedar Hill / Mount Tolmie neighbourhood, Formwell is seeking municipal approvals for a 14-townhome project at 3834 Ophir Street
. If approved, the Ophir Street project will consist of three and four-bedroom homes in a location close to shopping, transit routes, schools and post-secondary institutions. Ophir is planned to go to a public hearing later this year.
More information about Formwell, as well as early information on the proposals for the Latoria and Klahanie sites can be found on the company’s website here
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