November 14, 2019
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. The items are selected highlights from the November 14, 2019 Council Meeting. To review all the topics discussed, click here to see the full agenda and webcast.
PUBLIC HEARING: 1002-1008 Pandora Avenue – Rezoning Application (Harris Green)
Following a public hearing, Council voted to approve a Rezoning application to permit an air space plan of the project.
PUBLIC HEARING: 2220 Cook Street – Rezoning Application and Development Permit with Variance (North Park)
Following a public hearing, Council voted to approve a Rezoning application and Development Permit with Variances for 2220 Cook Street to subdivide the existing two lots, retain the existing apartment on the northerly lot and construct a triplex on the southerly lot.
Accessibility Framework – Endorsement and Next Steps
A draft Accessibility Framework has been presented to Council to set a pathway for operationalizing new commitments, goals, and actions to reduce and prevent barriers for people with disabilities across all City business areas. Further engagement on the framework and associated documents will be undertaken prior to final approval in the first quarter of 2020.
Resource Assessment – Development of a Single-Use Materials Regulation
Council has directed staff to report back on the resource implications for developing a regulation for the protection of the natural environment, related to several single-use materials, to be considered as part of the 2020 financial planning process.
Sustainable Mobility Strategy
Directions have been confirmed by Council for the City’s Sustainable Mobility Strategy. As a part of implementation over the next decade, staff will continue to engage with the public and key transportation stakeholders on achieving six major mobility initiatives including achieving vision zero, transforming public transit, accelerating active and accessible transportation, re-thinking how curb space is managed, electrifying the mobility system and harnessing data and technology to support moving people, goods and services. Council will consider allocations of $655,000 as part of the 2020 financial planning process to advance the priority work outlined in the draft strategy to support priority transportation safety, regulatory updates and initial program requirements.
2019 Climate Action Strategy – Proposed Programs and Initiatives
New accelerated climate action planning directions have been adopted, including new high impact climate initiatives that build off of the existing Climate Leadership Plan (CLP). These planning directions cover community planning, active transportation, public transit, zero emission heating and hot water systems, low carbon materials, and climate resilient ecosystems. Additionally, the strategy outlines six high impact initiatives that have been adopted including: an oil-to-heat pump incentive program, building energy and efficiency retrofit program, low carbon step code program, active transportation investments, zero emissions mobility incentives, and support for rapid and frequent transit.
Waterfront Public Realm Initiative
A refined concept design for the Songhees Park Expansion has been adopted by Council. The Songhees Park Expansion is a major initiative to develop new parkland at the south west abutment of the Johnson Street Bridge as an expansion to the existing park. The project site is located in traditional Lekwungen territory that was part of the Songhees Reserve lands between 1844 and 1911.
Council Member Motions
Transit Week Challenge
Council approved a motion calling on the members of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission and local government and elected officials in the capital region to commit to using BC Transit services as their sole mode of transportation around the Greater Victoria region for the period of one week and share their experience with their council, communities and Victoria Regional Transit Commission representative.
City of Victoria Input into Provincial Old Growth Strategic Review
Council directed Staff to draft a formal submission to the Provincial government’s Old Growth Forests Strategic Review stating the City of Victoria’s support for protecting all remaining old growth forests on Vancouver Island, advocating for sustainable management of second-growth forests, and appending previous Council resolutions on this topic.
Protecting and Supporting Arts and Cultural Spaces in the City
Council has directed staff to provide an update on implementation of the Create Victoria Master Plan within three months, including action items identified in the Strategic Plan for 2020, and recommendations on providing long-term financial stability for arts and cultural spaces. In addition, Council will consider allocating $100,000 in the 2020 Financial Plan toward an Arts and Cultural Spaces reserve fund, and authorize a new staff position in the Arts and Culture division, funded from new assessed revenue, to allow enough staff resources to proactively implement the Create Victoria Plan, and the Arts and Cultural Spaces Road Map. Council has also directed staff to prepare a draft policy governing the allocation of grants from the reserve fund, and align all work to protect cultural spaces including the work outline in the Create Victoria plan and Council motions regarding permissive tax exemptions and downzoning cultural facilities to limit property tax burdens and development pressures.
New Coastal Strategy and Law for British Columbia
Mayor Helps will write to the Province advocating for a BC Coastal Strategy.
Funding for Sanctuary Youth Centre
Council has approved $26,000 out of 2019 contingency to fund the Sanctuary Youth Drop In for an additional three hours on days that they are currently open and to provide funds for a day shelter in the event of extreme weather.