October 24, 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 October 24, 2019 Council Meeting. To review all the topics discussed, click here to see the full agenda and webcast.

We welcome anyone who would like to receive Council Highlights to email us at engage@victoria.ca. To visit the new City Council Meeting Dashboard, click here.

PUBLIC HEARING: 2708 Graham Street and 1050 Hillside Avenue – Development Permit with Variance (Hillside Quadra)
Following a public hearing, Council voted to approve a Development Permit with Variances to construct four new townhouse units to the rear of the existing duplex.  

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PUBLIC HEARING: 1025-1031 Johnson Street and 1050 Yates Street – Rezoning Application, Development Permit Application and Official Community Plan Amendment (Harris Green)
Following a public hearing, Council voted to approve a Rezoning application, Development Permit application and Official Community Plan amendment to increase the density and add residential uses for a phased development that includes four development areas with four main buildings (12, 14, 15 and 17 storeys). Mixed housing including 130 units of affordable housing to be operated by Pacifica Housing, commercial and retail space, a public plaza and a new post-disaster building (Fire Hall 1) are included in the plans.  

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Financial Plan Introduction
Council received the Draft 2020 Financial Plan (Budget) for information, for further consideration on December 5, 2019.

Read more about the Financial Plan

Corporate Equity – Next Steps
Staff will report back in early 2020 with a summary of Council input following a Corporate Equity workshop, as well as a plan to further the equity lens discussions with equity-seeking groups and the community as a whole in early 2020. Staff will also bring forward financial costs associated with development and implementation of an equity lens as part of the 2020 Financial Plan.

Council Workshop – Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre Replacement Project
Following a Council workshop to confirm details that will inform the approach to implementing the next phase of work on the Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre Replacement Project, Council reviewed considerations relating to the project objectives and scope, and directed staff to include consideration of a possible neighbourhood library branch.

Read the staff report and presentation

Renters’ Advisory Committee – Terms of Reference and Work Plan
Council has approved Terms of Reference and a work plan for the Renters’ Advisory Committee. The purpose of the committee is to provide advice and recommendations to Council on:

  • Policies to increase rental housing stock
  • Improving conditions and well being for renters in the City of Victoria
  • Strategic priorities for the city relating to renters
  • The impacts of provincial and federal legislation affecting tenants
  • Enhancing access and inclusion for renters in developing municipal policy and civic life
  • Other matters that the committee deems relevant to the interests of renters in the City of Victoria

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Local Area Planning – Next Phases
Council has directed staff to undertake local area planning with a focus on integrated planning for land use, transportation, urban design and public realm, and limiting the scope to urban villages, town centres, frequent transit and mobility corridors in three phases as follows:

  1. Phase 1: Villages and corridors within Hillside-Quadra, North Park and Fernwood neighbourhoods
  2. Phase 2: Villages and corridors within Rockland, Fernwood, North and South Jubilee neighbourhoods (in particular, the Fort Street Corridor and Oak Bay Avenue).
  3. Phase 3: Town Centres, villages and corridors within Oaklands and James Bay neighbourhoods

Staff will also Initiate work with Neighbourhood Associations on community-led planning components to support local area planning and reallocate previously approved funding for pre-work and community-led planning based on revised timing of neighbourhood plans, as follows:

  1. $10,000 each for Phase 1 and 2 neighbourhoods: Hillside-Quadra, North Park, Fernwood, Rockland, North/South Jubilee, Gonzales
  2. $20,000 each for Phase 3 neighbourhoods: Oaklands and James Bay

An update of the Neighbourhood Plan for each of these neighbourhoods will be completed by the end of this phased approach.

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Certification as a Living Wage Employer
The City has adopted a Living Wage policy, and will develop an implementation plan and apply for certification as a Living Wage Employer by the end of January 2020. The Living Wage for Families Campaign encourages employers to pay a living wage, which is calculated annually to cover basic expenses for a two-parent family with two children and each parent working full time. Living wage employers commit to paying their direct employees a living wage and require contracted services to also pay their employees a living wage.

Commercial Loading Zone Permits
The Province recently announced that their Commercial Vehicle Licensing Program, operated by the UBCM since 1987, will end on December 31, 2019. As a result, a City of Victoria permit would be necessary for the City to continue to manage these zones. Council has directed staff to bring forward amendments to the Streets and Traffic Bylaw to authorize the use of loading zones and 20-minute meters when a valid City of Victoria commercial loading permit is displayed, and establish an interim fee structure for City of Victoria commercial loading permits as follows:

  1. Vehicles 6 metres or less in length - $100 per year
  2. Vehicles greater than 6 metres in length - $300 per year

Recommendation to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch – 608 Esquimalt Road (Pineapple Express)
An application for Pineapple Express at 608 Esquimalt for a provincial cannabis retail store licence has been endorsed by City Council, subject to the applicant’s compliance with City bylaws and permits. Council also added it wishes the province to make its own deliberations about the fact that this operation remained in operation for approximately nine months following legalization.

Recommendation to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch – 732 Tyee Road (High 5)
An application for High 5 at 732 Tyee Road for a provincial cannabis retail store licence has been endorsed by City Council, subject to the applicant’s compliance with City bylaws and permits. The property currently permits cannabis retail use under a Temporary Use Permit that expires on October 12, 2020. The applicant must either obtain Council approval to renew the Temporary Use Permit or complete a successful rezoning process in order to operate a cannabis retail store at 732 Tyee Road after October 12, 2020. The City will notify the LCRB if cannabis retail use at 732 Tyee Road is approved or not.

Council Member Motions:

Cruise Ship Emissions Report
Council has asked staff to report back on the City’s jurisdiction on regulations for the cruise ship industry with respect to waste and emissions, and on the potential of requiring shore power by a particular date in order to significantly reduce and eventually eliminate the negative impact of waste, carbon emissions and particulate matter from the ships while they are in the City of Victoria. Council has also invited the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) to present the recent study it commissioned which outlines the impact of cruise operations on the environment in a workshop at an upcoming COTW meeting.

Council has requested that the GVHA work more aggressively with the cruise ship industry to install shore power at Ogden Point, not increase the number of cruise ships coming to Victoria, sign any long-term contracts, or consider home-porting cruise ships until the emissions and waste issues are dealt with to the satisfaction of Council based on the advice of the Director of Engineering and Public Works.

In addition, Council directed staff to work with the GVHA and the CRD to reduce the volume of solid waste being disposed of from the cruise ship sector.

Providing Stable Funding for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the Children’s Book Prize
Council has approved a motion to provide an annual $5,000 grant to the Victoria Book Prize Society for the Children’s Book Prize beginning in 2020, and in perpetuity, to recognize and celebrate exceptional children’s and youth literature in our community. This funding would be in addition to the $5,000 prize for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and would allow for both awards to be branded as “City of Victoria” prizes. Council also directed staff to work with the Victoria Book Prize Society to rebrand the Children’s Book Prize as the City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize.

Resolution of Support for Greta Thunberg and the Climate Strike Movement
Council has indicated its support in welcoming climate activist Greta Thunberg to Canada, and expressed appreciation for her contribution and the contributions of millions of young people who are spearheading the world-wide movement toward an ecologically sustainable society and economy. Council also reaffirmed that we are in a climate emergency and renews its commitment to work with all levels of government to increase climate ambition in line with the science of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsuis, including substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2030.