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 2021 Council Meetings. To review all the topics discussed, click here to see the full agenda and webcast.
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PUBLIC HEARING: 235 Russell Street – Development Permit with Variances Application
Following a Public Hearing, Council voted to approve a Development Permit with Variances Application for 235 Russell Street. This application will allow for construction of a new warehouse.
PUBLIC HEARING: 737 Belton Avenue – Development Permit with Variances Application
Following a Public Hearing, Council voted to approve a Development Permit with Variances Application for 737 Belton Avenue. This application will allow for a new single-family dwelling on a small lot.
PUBLIC HEARING: 3150 Somerset Street – Rezoning Application and Development Permit with Variances Application
Following a Public Hearing, Council voted to approve a Development Permit with Variances Application for 3150 Somerset Street. This application will allow the applicant to subdivide the property and build two duplex buildings on two lots.
PUBLIC HEARING: 780-798 Fort Street and 1106-1126 Blanshard Street – Rezoning Application and Development Permit with Variances Application
Following a Public Hearing, Council voted to approve a Development Permit with Variances Application for 780-798 Fort Street and 1106-1126 Blanshard Street. This application will allow for a comprehensive development with a hotel and retained heritage building.
Victoria Welcoming City Strategy and Action Plan and Welcoming City Advisory Committee
Council has endorsed the Victoria Welcoming City Strategy and Action Plan and directed staff to work with the community to develop community-driven implementation plans.
Council has also adopted the Welcoming City Implementation Advisory Committee Terms of Reference and has invited all existing task force members to continue as members of the Implementation Advisory Committee and directed staff to begin a selection process to fill any gaps remaining.
Council Member Motion: Accessibility in Bike Lanes
Council has directed staff to engage the Provincial government and the Accessibility Advisory Committee on moving forward with permitted use of electric-powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters in bike lanes in the City of Victoria, and provide a verbal update by Q1 2022 on next steps for moving forward with this accessibility action.
Funding for the Sanctuary Youth Drop-In
Up to $32,344 in funding will be allocated to the Sanctuary Youth Drop-In for an additional 3 hours on days that they are currently open and to provide funds for a day shelter in the event of extreme weather. These funds will be drawn from the 2021 contingency budget included as a supplemental request to be considered by the public as part of the budget engagement.
Proposed Amendments to Recreation Fees Bylaw
Staff will amend the Recreation Fees Bylaw effective February 1, 2022. User fees account for approximately 56 per cent of total revenues for the Recreation division. These fees are reviewed on an annual basis in accordance with the City Financial Sustainability Policy; however, the most recent amendment to the Recreation Fees Bylaw, was in 2020. Staff did not propose changes for 2021 due to the maintenance closure of the Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre and the service disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
City of Victoria Music Strategy (2022 – 2026)
Council approved the Victoria Music Strategy and allocated $75,000 from contingency to fund first year implementation action items related to COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts for the music sector. Staff will also make an application to Destination Greater Victoria to add to the City's contribution of $75,000 as a part of this project.
Third-Party Public Infrastructure Proposals
Regarding a number of third-party proposals the City has received from community groups for public infrastructure on municipal property, Council has directed staff to:
- Prepare an agreement with the Toby Family to install a proposed Skateable Bench at Vic West Park
- Update the 2022 Financial Plan and reallocate the necessary staff resources required to support a proposal from the Old Cemeteries Society for entry gates at Ross Bay Cemetery and add $2,000 to the 2023 Financial Plan for on-going operating expenses; and request that the Old Cemeteries Society reach out to the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations to see if they are interested in providing input on this proposed gate, and that staff report back to Committee of the Whole with information in this regard from the Old Cemeteries Society
- Update the 2022 Financial Plan and reallocate the necessary staff resources required to support a proposal from the Peninsula Streams Society for the Lime Bay Park Beach Enhancement and move forward with the environmental assessment of the Banfield Park waterfront and mud flats in 2022
- Update the 2022 Financial Plan and reallocate the necessary staff resources required to formalize arrangements with School District 61 and Aryze Developments to support the Fifth Street Playground on the City land located at 2550-2560 Fifth Street and report back to Council; proceed with a playground for the downtown in 2022; and defer the Bushby upgrade until 2023
Canada Day 2022
Council has directed staff to reach out to the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations to inquire as to their interest in participating in or co-hosting a July 1 event, and direct staff to:
- apply for a Canadian Heritage grant for an event that includes fireworks
- invite third-party contributions
- focus on a modest, family-friendly event oriented around Indigenous culture and performances by primarilylocal artists.
Staff will also engage the Welcoming City task force to seek their input in terms of multi cultural activities on July 1, and having a family friendly children's activity.
At the request of Councillor Thornton-Joe, the Councillor’s appointment as liaison for Canada Day has been revoked. Council has expressed appreciation for her years of service in this regard and requested the Mayor work with staff to develop terms of reference for a Canada Day subcommittee of Council to assist staff with planning the event.
Council Member Motion: Making Victoria a Bird Friendly City
Council has endorsed and sent forward to the 10-year OCP review the following:
- Developing bird friendly design guidelines for implementation across the City of Victoria, building off the work already envisioned as part of the Downtown Core Area Plan Design Guidelines update.
Council Member Motion: Support for the Arts on View Society
Council has endorsedin principle the vision of the Arts on View Society to create a performance arts hub at 751/753 View Street and request that the Mayor write a letter of support.
PUBLIC HEARING: 500, 504 & 506 Herald Street – Development Permit with Variances Application
Following an Public Hearing, Council voted to approve a Development Permit with Variances Application for 500, 504 and 506 Herald Street. This application will allow for construction of an upper floor addition (patio) and exterior stairs to an existing building for use as a brew pub.
Governance Review: External Stakeholder Selection Criteria / Presentation
Council has approved a proposed public stakeholder group selection criteria for an upcoming Governance Review,including members from the Songhees Nation, Esquimalt Nation, Victoria Friendship Centre and the Victoria Labour Council as part of the stakeholder group, and that the Victoria Foundation replace the United Way.