St. Andrews Rezoning Approved

It was a historic event last night (agenda here). Long serving Councillor Madoff said that she couldn’t recall being part of a longer approval process since the Eaton’s Centre in the 1980s. Looking to the audience there were a lot of familiar faces as we all gathered for the third time. Crowds were not quite as big as they were the first two nights and moods were generally tempered on all sides. Continue reading St. Andrews Rezoning Approved

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A Decision With Many Implications

This is a post that I’ve started, stopped, edited and rewritten many times over the past few weeks. Prior to going away in August, I was quite good with the blogging. I’d easily push out multiple detailed articles a week. But since I’ve returned, nearly 6 weeks ago now I’ve only published 7 articles and attended fewer meetings.

Why the malaise?

I had to admit that observing the city process and community reaction related to the proposed Bosa Blue Sky Properties rezoning & redevelopment request of the old St. Andrews School site in North Park has really put a damper on my enthusiasm for continuing to function as a city observer (see my Proposal Summary article here). That a seemingly reasonable project proposal and opportunity to bring life into a dead area, regardless of competing arguments for community safety, can be blindly moved forward by Council only to be so thoroughly rejected by a militant group operating under the pretense of a local community is incredibly dispiriting. Continue reading A Decision With Many Implications

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4 CRD Meetings on October 7, 2015

The CRD is a hard beast to follow so consider this an experiment in sense making. There are four CRD meetings happening tomorrow and the purpose of this post is to provide a convenient summary of what you need to know to follow along with the proceedings. I personally think that the first two meetings will be the most interesting to watch.

So what do we have going on? Continue reading 4 CRD Meetings on October 7, 2015

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The CRD Website

Based on my discussions with the CRD Communications Manager (man named Andy Orr) the vastly complex CRD website is built on the assumption that folks will bookmark their pages of interest. Trouble with this assumption mind you, is that such an approach to website creation is not supportive of folks who are either new to the website or only visit infrequently.

Some illustrations of these inconveniences are as follows: Continue reading The CRD Website

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Saanich Meeting Agenda October 5, 2015

The purpose of this post is to demonstrate how easy it is to provide an agenda that is easy to read and easy to locate your particular item of interest. I have taken the PDF agenda available from the District of Saanich website and broken it down into component sections.  Continue reading Saanich Meeting Agenda October 5, 2015

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A Deeper Look at St Andrews School Site

As your trusty municipal blogger, I naturally attended the August 27th Public Hearing (City agenda here) for the proposed Bosa Blue Sky redevelopment and rezoning of the long-since closed St Andrews School site on Pandora and Vancouver (also bordered by Mason Street). In total, apparently 48 people spoke and I was told by those who kept count that 26 were opposed to the development and 22 were in favour (video here and written minutes here).

Which is to say that there was representation from both sides but the process is not done yet and nobody seems too sure about whether this proposed project (latest staff report here) will be approved or not. At least 40 more folks are already signed up to speak at the continuation of the Public Hearing when it occurs on the evening of September 17 at Victoria City Hall (new agenda here). Other folks who have not yet signed up to speak are also free to make statements on  this proposal.

I will be one of them. I’m sure it will be another long night. Continue reading A Deeper Look at St Andrews School Site

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September 10 Council Summary & Observations

This past Thursday was the first complete Council meeting I observed in a while, due both to Summer break and my inability to stay and observe Council business after the Bosa Blue Sky properties Public Hearing for Pandora got adjourned at 11:30pm on August 27th (post on this coming soon).  So what happened?

The agenda was full and the events (video) fairly interesting.

Continue reading September 10 Council Summary & Observations

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September 10 PLUC Summary & Observations

It was a brief meeting this morning (agenda here and final motions here). Councillors Coleman & Thornton-Joe were absent and the only real thought I had observing the rest of them, is that the meeting (like so many others) played out like game of Ping Pong. The context is always somewhat competitive and usually only partially thought out because hey, you have to move quickly to hit the small ball and win. Isn’t that what running a city is all about?

I digress. So what happened this morning (video here)?

Continue reading September 10 PLUC Summary & Observations

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Victoria BC Federal Election Primer

To help out in advance of the upcoming Federal Election on October 19th (Elections Canada website here) I created this page to provide links to federal candidates for the Victoria BC Electoral District as well as a growing list of scheduled public All Candidate Events. Continue reading Victoria BC Federal Election Primer

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816 Government St/811-813 Wharf St Primer

816 Government St Public Hearing

This development application concerns the building at 816 Government/811-813 Wharf, located in the heart of the inner harbour and commonly known as the “Old Post Office/Customs House,” and is comprised of three connected applications; a rezoning application, a heritage designation application, and a heritage alteration permit.  This post will provide a primer on the complete proposal, summarizing the procedural timeline and actions to date.

Continue reading 816 Government St/811-813 Wharf St Primer

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A dedicated observer of local government in Greater Victoria