September 19, 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. We welcome anyone who would like to receive Council Highlights to email us at

PUBLIC HEARING: Fairfield Neighbourhood Plan
Following a public hearing at a Special Council Meeting on September 12, Council voted to approve the Fairfield Neighbourhood Plan and associated Official Community Plan amendments, including development permit guidelines. The purpose of local area plans, which includes neighbourhood plans, is to develop strategies to support community-wide objectives at the local level, consistent with the unique characteristics of different areas.

Local area planning identifies opportunities to:

  • Support and expand housing choice and affordability
  • Support safe, convenient and low carbon transportation
  • Envision public spaces that are active, attractive and welcoming
  • Support local services and amenities close to home (walkable communities)
  • Support businesses, local economic development, and good jobs close to home

Learn more about the Fairfield Neighbourhood Plan

PUBLIC HEARING: 902, 906 & 910 McClure Street –Rezoning Application (Rockland)
Following a public hearing, Council voted to approve a rezoning application to allow the construction of a new four-storey hotel building with additional guest rooms while retaining the existing hotel. 

Learn more

PUBLIC HEARING: 952 Johnson Street and 1400 Vancouver Street (Harris Green)
Following a public hearing, Council voted to approve a rezoning and development permit with variance application for 952 Johnson and 1400 Vancouver to allow for the development of a mixed-use building with commercial on the first floor and residential rental units above. The existing chapel will be retained for future commercial use.

Learn more

Citizens’ Assembly Council Committee – Report Back with Proposed Terms of Reference          
Council approved a revised Joint Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Citizens’ Assembly on Amalgamation at a Special Council Meeting on September 12. With Council’s approval with the below amendments, the TOR was considered by Saanich Council at their September 16 Council Meeting:  

  • proportions for the Assembly to be established based on the most recent (2016) census profile
  • to assist Assembly members to participate, members will be reimbursed for reasonable childcare, eldercare, and transportation costs and will receive an honorarium of $100 per meeting, to ensure participation is inclusive to people of all income levels. Members of the assembly will be asked if they wish to waive receipt of the honorarium to safeguard municipal funds. Assistance will also be provided to those members with differing physical or learning abilities. 
  • applicants will declare whether they are a board member of an organization that would place them in a conflict in participating in the process

Horse Drawn Carriages
Council has asked the BCSPCA to provide advice on the following amendments to regulations respecting horse-drawn carriage operations in the City, and have the response go to the next quarterly update for Council’s consideration:

Specifying that use of the municipal rights of way and parking stands for commercial horse-drawn carriage operations be limited to:

  1. vehicles pulled by one horse
  2. a geographic area bounded by Humboldt Street to the north, Cook Street to the east, Dallas Road to the south, and Victoria Harbour to the west
  3. working conditions limited to an air temperature not exceeding 28 degrees Celsius measured in the City of Victoria and good air quality consistent with Vancouver Island Health Authority advisories

Cannabis Licence Recommendation - Urban Earth Med Compassion Club
An application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch for a provincial cannabis retail store licence for Urban Earth Med Compassion Club at 2020 Douglas Street has been endorsed by City Council.

Official Community Plan Annual Review
Council received an Official Community Plan Annual Report for information, and directed staff to undertake an updated housing demand forecast and OCP capacity assessment, and report back with recommendations for using the contributions accrued in the Downtown Heritage Seismic Upgrade Reserve Fund.

Read the Annual Review

Tenant Assistance Policy Review and Enhancements
Council has directed staff to amend the Tenant Assistance Policy to update the compensation structure for both market and non-market or social housing for tenants being displaced based on a renovation or redevelopment of a rental property, as well as allowing for moving expenses of $1000 for 3 + bedroom units. Council will also consider an additional 1 FTE for the Tenant Ambassador Position as part of the 2020 Financial Plan process, and staff will undertake further engagement with the Renters Advisory Committee.

Read the report

Council Member Motions:

Advocacy for Legislation to Recover Municipal Costs Arising from Climate Change:
The Mayor will write, on behalf of Council, to the Premier of British Columbia, asking that the Government of British Columbia consider introducing legislation to support local governments in recovering a portion of costs incurred in relation to climate change.

Accessible Voting:
Staff will make an accessible voting machine available for the next municipal election or by-election on polling day located at City Hall or another equally central polling location, and will widely publicize these accessibility options well in advance of polling day.

Temporary Accommodation of Peers Victoria Resources Society:
Recognizing the importance of Peers Victoria Resources Society in preventing violence and providing support and counselling resources for vulnerable individuals in the City, Council has directed staff to work with Peers Victoria Resources Society to determine if a temporary office space can be secured for their use (with minimal expense) for the period of October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 at the City’s Old Island Saw Building on Bridge Street.