Two Important Housing Initiatives Coming to Council

Two important housing initiatives are coming to Council this month.

The City’s Missing Middle Housing Initiative report recommendations will be discussed by Council at the May 12 Committee of the Whole Meeting

Then on May 19 at the daytime Council meeting, Council will consider advancing the revised neighbourhood plans for Fernwood, North Park and Hillside-Quadra, and associated Official Community Plan amendments, to a Public Hearing. Should a Public Hearing be set, the City will share with the community the dates and ways to participate.

Read the revised plans, guidelines and proposed implementation steps, along with a video of these two project’s presentations and discussions from the May 5 Committee of the Whole here.

Share Your Thoughts

To share your thoughts with Council on the Missing Middle Housing Initiative report or the draft neighbourhood plans, please email mayorandcouncil@victoria.ca.

Missing Middle Housing Initiative Report

This report summarizes what the City heard during phase two of community engagement on the Missing Middle Housing Initiative. It identifies how public input, combined with additional technical analysis, guided the evolution and greater detailing of how zoning and land use policy could change to make it easier to build missing middle homes in Victoria.

The report includes discussion of what the zoning and approval process for missing middle housing could look like and seeks Council’s direction about whether to bring forward bylaws that Council could consider sending to a public hearing later this spring.

The Missing Middle Housing Initiative is about creating housing choices in between single-family homes and low- to mid-rise condos, such as houseplexes (triplexes, fourplexes, fiveplexes and sixplexes) and corner townhouses. It also could include opportunities to conserve homes with heritage merit by allowing new homes to be built in these backyards where the owner agrees to heritage designation.

Opening the door to building more missing middle housing is one important response to the current housing crisis in the city. Census data shows that Victoria continues to lose young families as their housing needs evolve. And it’s not just young families who benefit. There are many others looking for housing options because single family homes are expensive – just over a million dollars on average in Victoria – or because they might want access to more outdoor space, sometimes lacking in apartments and condos.

Learn more about the Missing Middle Housing Initiative.

Draft Neighbourhood Plans

The draft neighbourhood plans for Fernwood, North Park and Hillside-Quadra have been revised based on community input. At the May 19 daytime Council Meeting, Council will consider sending the neighbourhood plans, urban design guidelines and associated Official Community Plan amendments to a Public Hearing.

Should a Public Hearing be set, the City will share with the community the dates and ways to participate.

Read the full Council report and associated documents here. For a quick summary on what’s proposed in your neighbourhood, you can also check out individual eight-page neighbourhood plan summaries for Hillside-Quadra, North Park and Fernwood.

Community engagement to update these three neighbourhood plans began in 2020. After two phases of engagement, draft plans and design guidelines were shared with the community in October 2021. Revisions to these plans have been made based on public input received in the third and latest phase of engagement that took place over the fall and winter.

Learn more about these draft neighbourhood plans.