November 8, 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: 457 and 459 Kipling Street (Fairfield)
Council approveda rezoning and development permit with variance application to permit the existing non-conforming duplex at 457 and 459 Kipling Street. Click here to learn more.

PUBLIC HEARING: 1139 Chapman Street (Fairfield)
Council approved a rezoning and development permit with variances application for the construction of a new duplex at 1139 Chapman Street. Click here to learn more.

PUBLIC HEARING: 423 Edward Street (Victoria West)
Council approved a development variance permit application to convert the existing building at 423 Edward Street to a triplex, subject to a housing agreement securing at least two units as rental in perpetuity and the applicant entering into an agreement with a car share organization or membership for all three units. Click here to learn more.

PUBLIC HEARING: 944 Heywood Avenue (Fairfield)
Council approved a development permit with a variance application to subdivide the existing lot at 944 Heywood Avenue into two small lots and build two single family dwellings. Click here to learn more.

MOTION AMENDMENT: 645 – 651 Johnson Street and 1314 – 1324 Douglas Street (Downtown)
Council authorized the issuance of a Heritage Alteration Permit for 645 – 651 Johnson Street and 1314 – 1324 Douglas Street, upon minor revisions to the bicycle parking to ensure compliance with relevant parking regulations. View the motion amendment.

CityStudio Student Presentations
Royal Roads University students presented “The Messy Wicked Problem of Housing Affordability – An Action Plan for the City of Victoria” report. View the report. University of Victoria students presented “Learning Towards a Better City – Reflections on the 2018 Europe Sustainability Field School”.View the presentation.

759 Yates Street – Application for a Permanent Change to Hours of Service for a Liquor Primary Licence
Council approved the application by the Yates Street Taphouse to change their Liquor Primary Licence service hours to 9 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. Monday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. – 12 a.m. on Sundays. View the report.

Cannabis Retail Store Licence Referrals
Council gave three readings to the Cannabis Retail Store Licensing Consultation Policy and Fees Bylaw, which establishes a process for the City to provide a recommendation to the Provincial Government for a cannabis retail store licence application referral, and to establish fees. The Bylaw will be presented to Council for adoption at the November 22 Council meeting. The Cannabis-Related Business Regulation Bylaw will be amended to align with the Province of British Columbia’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act. Learn more here.  

Better Representing Renters in City Decision-Making through the Creation of a Renters’ Advisory Committee
Council approved the formation of a Renters’ Advisory Committee and adopted an Interim Terms of Reference. Staff will invite applications from members of the public for appointment to the committee. Councillor Sharmake Dubow and Councillor Jeremy Loveday were appointed as initial Council Liaisons to the committee, which will aim to meet for the first time in January 2019. Learn more.

Actions for Housing Affordability
Council directed staff to proceed with stakeholder engagement on the Inclusive Housing and Density Bonus Policy,including a working group consisting of representatives of rental housing advocates, non-market housing providers, community association land use committees, and members of the development community. The policy will be presented for Council’s consideration by March 31, 2019.

As an interim measure until the final policy is adopted, the City will negotiate an affordable component in rezoning applications for new strata housing received after November 8, 2018, in the form of non-market units or a cash-in-lieu of payment depending on the size of the projects, without compromising the economic viability of projects. A financial analysis will be undertaken to determine economic viability, which must be conducted ‘open book’ and with absolute transparency.

BC Assessment will be invited to provide data on land values and land appreciation in the City of Victoria over the past decade, to inform the development and implementation of the Inclusive Housing and Density Bonus Policy and other housing initiatives.

The Mayor on behalf of City Council, will write to the Minister Responsible for the BC Assessment Authority and Members of the Legislative Assembly representing constituencies on Vancouver Island, requesting amendments to the BC Assessment Act and/or regulations on a priority basis to provide for “split classification” / split taxation of units in multi-unit buildings. This will ensure that units used as non-principal residences (“whole-unit”) short-term rentals are taxed as commercial, rather than as residential property.

A town hall meeting on the Future of Cooperative Housing will take place on Wednesday, November 28 at City Hall in partnership with the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC. The event will include a technical workshop for staff and housing partners.

The City will initiate robust enforcement of Short-term Rental regulations no later than January 1, 2019 to return units to the residential housing supply and ensure fairness for people complying with the regulations. Staff will report back to Council within six months on the effectiveness of the regulations, including options to improve compliance and reduce costs. Learn more here.

Acquiring Land to Facilitate Investment to Decommodified Housing
Council endorsed in principle the acquisition of land on a priority basis to facilitate federal, provincial and regional investment in decommodified housing, to address the escalating housing costs that have made securing safe, affordable housing out of reach for many in our community, including seniors, youth, people with disabilities, families, workers, and people from racialized and Indigenous communities. Staff will provide recommendations to Council by December 13, 2018 on options for financing. Learn more.

Incentivize and Mandate the Creation of Family-Appropriate Rental Units
Staff will report back with amendments to the Victoria Housing Strategy and applicable bylaws and policies to incentivize and mandate the creation of family-appropriate, two and three-bedroom rental units as part of a larger strategy to increase affordable housing options across Victoria. Learn more here.

Adopt and Consistently Apply the CMHC’s Definition of Affordable Housing
Council referred this matter to the November 22, 2018 Committee of the Whole meeting. City staff will invite written comment and/or presentation from the BC Rental Housing Management Corporation, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and the BC Assessment authority on this policy. Learn more.

Passing of former Councillor Janet Baird and Richard Nakamura
The Mayor will write to the families of Janet Baird and Richard Nakamura to express condolences.