May 28, 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 May 28, 2020 Council Meetings. To review all the topics discussed, click here to see the full agenda and webcast.

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1700 Blanshard Street: Development Permit with Variance Application
Council has authorized the issuance of a Development Permit with Variance Application for 1700 Blanshard Street for a 23-storey residential building with ground floor commercial.
Learn more about this application

1820 Government Street: Update on Application for a new Food Primary License with Entertainment Endorsement for January Gin Joint & Eatery (Downtown)
Council will note support for this application to the Liquor Licensing Agency, as long as it meets the requirement of a food primary as written in the liquor control board policyof the January Gin Joint & Eatery to have hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, an occupant load of 43 people and an entertainment endorsement.

2558 Quadra Street: Revised Victoria Housing Reserve Fund Grant (Hillside/Quadra)
To reflect changes to the project, specifically a reduction in the number of eligible units and level of affordability, Council has reduced the grant, approved on March 21, 2019, from the Victoria Housing Reserve Fund to the Greater Victoria Housing Society for the Forest Heights project located at 2558 Quadra Street to $105,000 from $440,000.

Public Hearings and Opportunities for Public Comment during the COVID-19 Pandemic
An amended process has been approved to move forward with Public Hearings and opportunities for public comment in accordance with the Ministerial Order M139 for receiving oral submissions during public hearings by allowing the public to participate via live phone and pre-recorded video as a substitute to in-person attendance while authorized by the provincial government. The amendments are as follows:

  1. Restore the public request to address Council and question period to regular Council meetings by electronic participation or written submissions during the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Restore the holding of twice monthly evening council meetings with remote participation in Public Hearings and Opportunities for Public Comment, Request to Address Council and Question Period
  3. 3.    That staff proactively communicate opportunities for public participation in the City of Victoria public processes and information regarding all Public Hearings be sent to all community association land use committees (CALUCs).
  4. That staff provide a verbal progress report on public participation at the June 18 Committee of the Whole meeting.

My Great Neighbourhood Grant Program – New Category of Community Recovery & Resiliency
A new interim category of Community Recovery & Resiliency and the updated policy has been approved for the 2020 My Great Neighbourhood Grant Program. The program includes a rolling intake from June to December 2020, giving the City Manager the decision-making power to approve the grants following the usual staff review process and report back at the end of the year. The maximum allocated for recovery and resilience grants will be $5000.

Downtown Core Area Plan Update
Council hasdirected staff to undertake an update of the Downtown Core Area Plan focused on enhancing liveability through improved building design considerations. Staff will report back with proposed updates to the Downtown Core Area Plan and a related Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw to update development permit area and heritage conservation area guidelines.

Temporary License of Occupation for DC Fast Charger at 1400 Blk of Store Street
The City will enter into a License of Occupation (Electric Vehicle Charging Stations) agreement, allowing BC Hydro the use of a defined portion of land at 1400 Store Street to install, maintain and operate a publicly accessible Direct Current Fast Charge electric vehicle station.

Motor Vehicle Act Pilot Project
Council has directed staff to communicate to the Province of British Columbia that the City of Victoria will work collaboratively with other municipalities and the Capital Regional District to explore a proposal for the second call under the Motor Vehicle Act Pilot Program focused on reduced speed limits and new mobility devices, and request expansion of provincial road safety and active transportation grant funding programs to support municipal participation in the Motor Vehicle Act Pilot Program.

Reallocation of Funding to Support 'Get Growing, Victoria!'
Council has approved the reallocation of $30,000 from the 2020 Community Garden Coordinator Grant to provide direct awards grants to community organizations supporting distribution and education components of the Get Growing, Victoria! food production program.

Council Member Motion - Housing and Supports during COVID Phase 2
The Mayor, on behalf of Council, will write to the Premier of British Columbia, copying Members of the Legislative Assembly representing constituencies in the Capital Region, reiterating the City of Victoria’s request that the Government of British Columbia mobilize sufficient resources to offer housing with appropriate social care and health care to all unhoused people in the Province of British Columbia.

In addition, Council has directed staff to resume booking hotel and motel rooms in the Capital Region without delay for people currently sheltering outdoors in the City of Victoria, working with partner organizations to offer housing with appropriate social care and health care services (and all supports and wraparound services that may be required), and with informed consent of people to be housed, drawing from unspent funds from $300,000 in previously approved COVID-19 response funding, and that the city seek reimbursement from the Province for these expenditures.

Council has also directed staff to provide access to hygiene for people currently sheltering outdoors, including handwashing facilities and washrooms in proximity to authorized outdoor sheltering locations on a 24-hour basis, and maintain funding for shower facilities at Our Place, drawing from unspent funds from previously approved COVID-19 response funding.

Council Member Motion - Advocacy for Paid Sick Leave for All
Council will request that the Province implement amendments to the Employment Standards Act to introduce a minimum of 21 paid sick leave days for the duration of the Provincial State of Emergency with a legacy of at least 10 days of paid sick leave for workers in British Columbia in perpetuity.