February 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. We welcome anyone who would like to receive Council Highlights to email us at engage@victoria.ca.

PUBLIC HEARING: 205 Simcoe Street (James Bay)
Council approved a Rezoning Application to allow for a daycare use within the existing building.
Click here to learn more.

Commemorative Tree Planting in Mayor’s Grove
This spring, the City will be planting a tree in Mayor’s Grove to honour former Victoria Mayor Gretchen Mann Brewin. Mayor Brewin was the first female Mayor for the City of Victoria.

Change to Liquor Licence Application for Spinnakers Brewpub
An application to the Liquor Licensing Agency for Spinnakers Brewpub at 308 Catherine Street has been endorsed by City Council. The application requests a change to hours of operation from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily to 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. 

Change to Liquor Licence Application for Interactivity Board Game Café
An application to the Liquor Licensing Agency for Interactivity Board Game Cafe at 723 Yates Street has been endorsed by City Council. The application requests a change to hours of operation from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily to 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Old Town Design Guidelines and Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw
Council approved the Old Town Design Guidelines in principle and have directed staff to prepare a related OCP Amendment Bylaw to implement the new guidelines. The guidelines were developed to provide improved guidance, clarity, interpretation and user-friendliness for designers, architects and property owners who are actively planning or considering a new building or an addition to an existing (heritage or non-heritage) building within the Old Town area. The guidelines help to ensure that the design of new buildings or additions result in built forms that are complementary to the historic character and context of Old Town. The guidelines are also an important evaluation tool for City staff and Council when reviewing development applications and proposals.
Read the staff report.

Citizen Involvement in Emergency Preparedness
The City will continue to dedicate resources to the continued enhancement and opportunities for citizen involvement in the Emergency Social Services (ESS), Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) support, Auxiliary Communications Services (ACS), and Cyclist Response Team (CRT) volunteer teams as well as public education programs and initiatives such as Connect and Prepare, as identified through the Emergency Management BC Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer Program.

Cannabis Retail Store Licence Referral Update
City Council received an update from staff regarding cannabis retail store licences, and the process and role the City is involved in. The Province has begun processing applications for Cannabis retailers. To date 15 applications have had their initial referral by the Province to the City. The first five applications have come back to the City after a receiving a positive Fit and Proper Assessment from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB). These applications will come before Council after required consultation has taken place in accordance with the City's Bylaw. More applications will come forward when the City is advised of further positive Fit and Proper Assessments.

Call for Public Inquiry
Council has endorsed a call for the Provincial Government to launch a Public Inquiry into money laundering in B.C., similar to the Charbonneau Inquiry in Quebec, to begin after Peter German’s review of money- laundering in B.C. real estate, due in March. The Mayor will also write a letter to the Premier, the Minister of Finance, and the Attorney General, communicating the City of Victoria’s support for a Public Inquiry. Council will request the terms of reference for this Public Inquiry include:

i.     Investigation into money laundering in BC real estate that may have deepened the housing affordability crisis;

ii.    Investigation into links between organized crime, money laundering, and the overdose crisis, which resulted in the deaths of an average of one person dying every four days in Victoria, and nearly 1500 people across BC in 2018.

Strategic Plan Actions Related to Affordable Housing
Council has voted to fast-track a number of items from the Strategic Plan related to affordable housing, including supporting houseplexes as a form of multi-unit housing, support for more family housing including townhouses and rowhouses, and allowing for the expansion of the garden suite program to allow these suites on lots that already have secondary suites or duplexes, and larger suite units for larger lots.

COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS:

Observed Inhalation Sites for Overdose Prevention
Council endorsed a resolution to be sent to the Premier of British Columbia, the Ministers responsible for Local Government, Health, Mental Health and Addictions, the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) Annual Convention, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Annual Convention, and member local governments and regional districts within the Capital Region, AVICC and UBCM, requesting favourable consideration and resolutions of support. The resolutions seeks to ensure that people at risk of overdose across B.C. have access to observed consumption services that provide space for inhalation, that the Province of British Columbia work through local communities, Health Authorities across the Province, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and the Ministry of Health to provide these services as part of a holistic response to the public-health emergency, including prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Revitalizing Island Rail
Council  has endorsed a resolution to be sent to the Premier of British Columbia, the Minister of Transportation, Members of the Legislative Assembly representing constituencies on Vancouver Island, the AVICC Annual Convention, and member local governments within the Capital Region and AVICC, requesting favourable consideration and resolutions of support, asking that the Province of British Columbia take immediate actions to provide sufficient funding in a timely manner to restore the railway infrastructure of Vancouver Island and ensure that the corridor remains intact and available to future generations of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

Support to Allow Permanent Residents to Vote in BC Municipal Elections
Council has endorsed the following resolution to be sent to the Premier of British Columbia, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the AVICC Annual Convention, the UBCM Annual Convention, and member local governments and regional districts within the Capital Region, AVICC and UBCM, requesting that the Province of British Columbia to make the necessary changes to allow Permanent Residents to vote in municipal elections in Victoria and other municipalities.