Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Gonzales need a new neighbourhood plan?
While much of the 2002 Gonzales plan will carry forward into the new neighbourhood plan, updates are needed to reflect the new city-wide goals laid out in the 2012 Official Community Plan. These goals include addressing climate change, retaining heritage, and offering more sustainable transportation options. Most significantly, changing demographics are driving the need for new housing types throughout the City. A new Gonzales neighbourhood plan will aim to address these issues, while maintaining what is special about the neighbourhood.
How is the new plan different from the 2002 plan?
The new draft plan has the same goals as the 2002 plan: enhance the natural environment, keep the low-scale neighbourhood character (with generous front and back yards, low building heights and ample green space), accommodate a diversity of residents, and encourage alternative forms of transportation. The new plan also introduces options for more suites, makes it easier to convert and re-purpose existing houses and opens the door to new housing choices in certain locations. It also identifies new improvements for parks, active transportation, infrastructure and placemaking.
How much will Gonzales grow under the new plan, and will the plan encourage widespread redevelopment or removal of older homes?
Historically, Gonzales has seen approximately 10 – 15 new housing units added each year. The draft neighbourhood plan anticipates that future development in Gonzales will continue at this modest pace.
Based on this demand, the goals of the plan aim to support opportunities to add new housing options to the neighbourhood, over time, at a pace similar to that seen in the past. The plan does not aim to create the financial incentive for widespread redevelopment of existing houses.
To support this goal, an economic analysis was undertaken to assess redevelopment potential under the new plan. The outcomes of this assessment showed that, given Gonzales’ high land values and proposed densities in the plan, the likelihood of widespread redevelopment is low. In general, analysis shows that the amount a prospective builder would pay for land is no more, and in most cases less, than the current cost of a typical house in Gonzales. For more information on this analysis, visit www.victoria.ca/gonzales.
Does the new neighbourhood plan change the zoning (rezone) in Gonzales?
No. While neighbourhood plans provide guidance to Council about what new types of development would be acceptable in the event of a rezoning, they do not themselves change the zoning for the neighbourhood. If new development is sought by a landowner, it would be up to the owner to initiate an application to rezone the property. If a rezoning is initiated, additional public consultation, notification and a public hearing before Council would be required to ensure any new development is the right fit for Gonzales.