August 6, 2020
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 July 16, 23 and August 6, 2020 Council Meetings. To review all the topics discussed, click here to see the full agenda and webcast.
PUBLIC HEARING: 2649-2659 Douglas Street and 735 Hillside Avenue (Scott Building) – Rezoning Application, Development Permit Application and Heritage Designation Application
Following a Public Hearing, Council voted to approve a Rezoning Application, Development Permit Application and Heritage Designation Application for 2649-2659 Douglas Street and 735 Hillside Avenue. This application will allow for construction of 151 new rental homes, as well as to heritage-designate, renovate and add an additional storey to the existing building and convert the upper storeys to residential.
PUBLIC HEARING: 2251 Lydia Street - Development Permit with Variances Application and Heritage Alteration Permit
Following a Public Hearing, Council voted to approve a Development Permit with Variances Application and a Heritage Alteration Permit for 2251 Lydia Street, which will allow for a subdivision to three lots while retaining the existing single family dwelling on one lot and proposing new single family dwellings on the two remaining lots.
Victoria Housing Reserve Fund Application: 3020 Douglas Street and 584 Burnside Road
Council approved a grant from the Victoria Housing Reserve Fund to the Victoria Cool Aid Society in the amount of $450,000 to assist in the construction of the 154-unit Crosstown affordable housing project at 3020 Douglas Street and 584 Burnside Road East.
Budget Update and Review of Deferred Items
Council revisited the 2020 budget items that were postponed in April due to decreased City revenue in the midst of COVID-19. Council has agreed to defer approximately $17 million in capital projects and other initiatives to offset projected revenue shortfalls and additional pandemic-related costs, primarily from parking and the cancellation of convention business.
Three paused initiatives were approved to now move ahead in 2020, including a $3.8 million investment in the long-awaited bike skills and skate park at Topaz Park. Design will begin in 2020 with construction anticipated in 2021. Council also allocated funding to install a new public washroom downtown at the south end of Douglas Street.
In addition, this fall the City will establish an Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which will be staffed by an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer and an Accessibility Coordinator to carry out a number of strategic plan priorities.
Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena Capital Upgrades
Council amended the 2020 Financial Plan to allocate $280,000 for the repair of dehumidifiers and installation of handrails in the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, to be funded through the Multi-Purpose Equipment and Infrastructure Reserve Fund.
Accessibility Framework and Policy
Council endorsed the Accessibility Framework as part of the City’s commitment to become a bold, thriving, inclusive and happy city, taking positive steps to remove barriers, promote inclusion and support people with disabilities through municipal programs, services and investments. The framework and Accessibility Policy will lay a foundation for integrating accessibility standards, goals, objectives and actions, across all City service areas. The Framework and a suite of recommendations will come back to Council in September for final consideration.
Staff will report back with terms of reference for a new accessibility advisory committee, allowing for some continuity of membership, to provide ongoing advice to the City of Victoria as the Accessibility Framework is implemented. Staff will also report back on the accessibility lens as it relates to the future equity lens and on potential tools to assist with balancing competing needs.
Council Member Motion: Recognizing the Extraordinary Contribution of Accessibility Working Group Volunteer Members
Council has recognized the extraordinary contribution of Accessibility Working Group (AWG) volunteers and the Mayor will write letters to AWG members thanking them for their efforts to help the City of Victoria identify and eliminate barriers and make Victoria accessible for all.
Council Member Motion: Recovery Stimulus Package for BC's Tourism and Hospitality Sector
Council has endorsed the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC)’s Tourism Rescue Proposal and the Mayor will write the Premier of British Columbia, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and MLAs representing the ridings in the CRD advocating that the Province of British Columbia provide initial investment support of $680 million (short/medium term) and additional stimulus funding (medium/long term) to help mitigate the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 on the B.C. tourism and hospitality industry and its workforce.
Council Member Motion: Coordinated Assessment and Access Policy Group Recommendations
Council will request that the Coordinated Assessment and Access Policy Group adjust its criteria for prioritizing people for housing based on the recently released 2020 Point in Time Count results including continuing to prioritize Indigenous people at the rate at which they are experiencing homelessness, broadening the age priority to reflect the most recent Point in Time Count data and prioritizing people who have lived in the region for one year or more.
Council Member Motion: Expediting Land Use and Permitting Applications for Schools During COVID-19
Council hasdirected staff to expedite land use and permitting application processes for schools applying to place portables on school properties to accommodate the physical distancing needs of students during COVID-19, while providing the regular opportunity for public input through staff bringing a report to a public meeting.