July 12, 2018

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.

PUBLIC HEARING: 3025 Douglas Street - Rezoning and Development Variance Permits and Associated Official Community Plan Amendments Applications
Council approved applications to amend the Official Community Plan and rezone the land to allow for the conversion of the Douglas Street Motel at 3025 Douglas Street into 48 market rental units, while retaining the existing commercial storage space on the lower level. 

PUBLIC HEARING: 3103 Washington Avenue – Rezoning Application
Council approval of a rezoning application to construct four single family dwellings on an existing lot at 3103 Washington Avenue is pending the registration of a covenant to include in the landscape plans a fence and a hedge along the adjacent property, which are to be submitted to the City’s Director of Planning for approval.

PUBLIC HEARING: 224 Superior Street – Rezoning Permit and Heritage Alteration Permit with Variances Applications
Council declined the rezoning application to convert the existing Bed and Breakfast at 224 Superior Street into four residential units, and to subdivide the property to create a new small lot to build a single family dwelling. 

502 Discovery Street - Rezoning/Heritage Alteration Permit and Designation Applications
The applications for rezoning, heritage alteration and heritage designation for 502 Discovery Street will move forward and a public hearing date will be set. The applications are to allow the construction of additional floor area for office use in an existing building; use of the upper storey attic of the existing building for office space; the addition of a breezeway and a number of skylights; minor alterations to two entrances; and to designate the exterior of the building as heritage. 

727 Yates Street - Heritage Alteration Permit with Variances Application
The application for a heritage alteration permit with variances for 727 Yates Street will move forward and a public hearing date will be set. The application is to allow for the conversion of an existing vacant heritage-designated commercial building to a mixed-use building with a two-and-a-half storey addition for residential rental suites and ground-floor retail use. 

Development Permits to be Issued for 1351 Vining and 1245 Oxford Streets
Two development permit applications were presented to Council due to their technical requirements. Council approved the development permit applications to convert an existing studio into a garden suite at 1351 Vining Street, and to allow the construction of a garden suite in the rear yard of 1245 Oxford Street. Changes in 2017 to the City’s rezoning and rules for garden suites have resulted in 22 approved applications with another 17 in process since then, compared to a total of 18 approved garden suite applications over the 12 years prior. The change in process gave staff the authority to review and approve garden suite applications. 

Special Joint Committee of the Whole Meeting with the District of Saanich
Council approved the following motion:

  1. That Saanich and Victoria both place the following question on the October 20, 2018 municipal election ballot: “Are you in favour of spending up to $250,000 for establishing a Citizen’s Assembly to explore the costs, benefits and disadvantages of the amalgamation between the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria?
  2. Co-develop and disseminate educational information in advance of the election as an inclusive election expense.
  3. Direct the Mayors to write to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing informing the Honorable Selena Robinson of the intention to pose a ballot question, sharing the wording of the question.

Preliminary estimates note that the process could cost up to $750,000 and take two fiscal years to complete. Provincial government funding of up to $60,000 may be available to each municipality per year towards the study, which could cover close to one-third of the estimated cost. View the update report.

Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan 2017/2018 Progress Report
The first annual progress report was presented to Council on what has been completed and is currently underway towards implementing priority actions outlined in the Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan, the Urban Forest Master Plan, and the Growing in the City initiative. These documents provide focus to City staff when planning and managing parks. Of the 55 actions in the Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan, work has commenced on 40% of these actions within the first year of implementation. Of the 26 recommendations in the Urban Forest Master Plan, work is underway on eight. City staff are meeting with the Accessibility Working Group and Urban Food Table group to balance allergen accessibility considerations with pollinator habitat requirements as part of the Growing in the City initiative. Council directed staff to work with the Urban Food Table on identifying and tracking additional targets related to urban agriculture and food systems. To learn more, view the report and the Parks and Open Spaces 2017/2018 Annual Report.

New Enclosed Topaz Dog Park or Another Dog Park to be Named “PSD Chase Dog Park”
As part of the new plan for Topaz Park, a new enclosed dog park will be added. Council approved a motion to name the dog park or another dog park the “PSD Chase Dog Park” in memory of the valuable service of PSD Chase, VicPD’s four-year-old German Sheherd police service dog who died in the line of duty in September 1994. Council will invite comment from the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood action committee on this concept. An interpretive plaque will be installed. View the report.

Supporting the Creation of More Childcare Spaces in Victoria West
City Council approved the motion for staff to collaborate with the Victoria West Community Association to explore upgrades and City approval processes needed to increase the number of childcare spaces at the Victoria West Community Centre. View the Council motion.