February 9, 2017

Council Highlights provide a snapshot of the progress made on City programs, initiatives and on Council decision-making. For more information on each initiative, please visit the accompanying link where noted. We welcome anyone who would like to receive Council Highlights to email us at engage@victoria.ca.

Update on Cycling Network Implementation
Staff provided Council a workshop on the implementation of Phase 1 of the City’s AAA cycling priority network and future work moving forward. The workshop included a review of AAA design guidelines, an update on the current program status, and an update on the development of the overall program implementation plan which remains subject to further analysis and planning, while providing Council an opportunity to provide feedback. Council directed staff to report back in June 2017 with further cycling network updates and recommendations regarding sequencing, scheduling, resourcing and costs for completion of the network by 2022.  

Crystal Pool ChangeRoom Renovation
Staff will proceed with the Crystal Pool universal change room renovation project. Construction of the new space is expected to take 4-6 weeks and will be scheduled during the facility’s annual maintenance closure in September to minimize disruption to patrons. 

David Foster Harbour Pathway Update
Council has directed staff to complete the two pedestrian bridges and the Heron Cove Special Place at Fisherman’s Wharf and report back with recommendations for implementation on the design of the Johnson Street Bridge Underpass and Reeson Park Pathway. The Johnson Street Bridge Underpass design will be included in the 2017 Financial Plan. 

Clover Point Pump Station Rezoning Application
A rezoning application to permit a new addition to an existing public facility, the Clover Point Pump Station at 1303 Dallas Road, has been moved forward to Public Hearing. The hearing will be held on February 23. 

Extension of Vacancy Taxation Authority to Local Governments
Council will be asking the Province of British Columbia to extend the authority to introduce a surtax on vacant and derelict residential properties to local governments across British Columbia, and encourage the occupancy, maintenance, and improvement of buildings to address housing affordability and public safety.

Restoration of Land Value Tax
Council endorsed a resolution to write a letter asking the Government of British Columbia restore the authority of local governments to introduce a Land Value Tax, to incentivize improvements to property for housing and other purposes, and create a disincentive to holding vacant property for speculative purposes.

Victoria Housing Strategy Implementation – Removing Minimum Unit Sizes
The City considered a proposal from the Victoria Housing Strategy to remove minimum unit sizes in all multi-unit residential zones outside of downtown (which currently has no minimum unit sizes) in an effort to enable a diversity of housing options in Victoria. After consideration of this change, Council moved instead to reduce any minimum unit size larger than the standard 33m2 down to that size for consistency, and to tie future requests for micro units to housing affordability. A new public hearing date will be scheduled in the coming months.

Youth Strategy
A new Youth Strategy was adopted to get more youth involved in local government, and its corresponding implementation plan has been approved. Staff will bring forward funding options for the second and third years of the implementation strategy as part of the 2018 financial planning process.

City Wide Seismic Vulnerabilities Assessment Study
Council has asked staff to expand the scope of the City’s Tax Incentive Program (TIP) beyond downtown to include eligible heritage buildings city-wide. Staff will also examine the City's authority to expand incentives beyond heritage buildings and assess opportunities to include seismic considerations as part of the City’s Rental Retention and Revitalization study. TIP has already successfully incentivized the upgrading of 43 buildings. Currently it is limited to granting tax exemptions exclusively to heritage-designated properties located downtown. 

Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) Motion Social / Community Benefit Procurement
Council endorsed a motion that the AVICC Executive appoint a liaison to the Working Group and that the Working Group undertake a feasibility assessment of a “Community Benefit Procurement Hub” as per the information circulated at the AVICC 2017 Convention for the AVICC membership and report back to the AVICC at the 2018 AGM.

90 & 92 Dallas Road
Council approved a rezoning application for 90 and 92 Dallas Road. This application will allow for the construction of a new duplex on the site. 

School District 61 Presentation
Based on a presentation by School District #61, the Mayor will write to the Ministry of Education supporting funding for the needed upgrades of Vic High School.