April 16 Council Early Thoughts

Just some quick links and musings from my two hours I have to review what is on the agenda tonight for Council. First thing to note is that there a LOT of proclamations on the agenda:

“Beta Sigma Phi Day” – April 30th, 2015 – a sorority of sorts

“Child Abuse Prevention Month” – April 2015 – sponsored by the Smiles for Miles Foundation

“Mental Health Week” – May 4th – 10th, 2015 -sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association of BC

“Highland Games Week” – May 9th – 18th, 2015 – little early perhaps but good to have done before events start?

“Internal Audit Month” – May 2015 – sponsored by the Institute of Internal Auditors who have a Canadian chapter

“National Meetings Industry Day” – April 16th, 2015 – sponsored by the Meeting Professionals International BC Chapter in support of the increasing business at the VCC I reckon?

“Landscape Architecture Day” – April 26th, 2015 – sponsored by the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects

“Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Day” – May 5th, 2015 – sponsored by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada

It all just seems excessive, especially since none of these proclamations are actually read. The Corporate Administrator just lists them off and then one of his staff likely sends a letter declaring that a proclamation was made. I know from experience that municipalities get requests for all sorts of proclamations from all sorts of groups, and different municipalities have different ways of dealing with them. Some municipalities don’t read proclamations, others only reads ones of direct local relevance and then others like Victoria seem to do all proclamations received.

Thinking of the Jack Know TC article from this morning I wonder if the City has ever said “no” to a particular proclamation? I seem to remember some hoopla about this from a few years back but don’t have time to search right now.

Public Hearings

There are six public hearing files on the agenda tonight.

City Initiated OCP Amendment

This is a public hearing for a proposed amendment to the Official Community Plan Bylaw and the Zoning Regulation Bylaw to regulate the construction or installation of a rain garden, bioswale, permeable paving, green roof, or cistern. A summary staff report on public engagement received regarding the proposed Rainwater management incentive program is also on the agenda. According to this report:

the low level of engagement likely indicates that this change is not of great concern to the community.

Here is the proposed OCP amendment to specify additional conditions under which a Development Permit or Heritage Alteration Permit is not required.

Here is the proposed Zoning amendment that would allow a cistern to be located in any zone subject to the regulations in Schedule “K” – which is this amendment.

OCP and Zoning Amendment 1521-31 Elford

This is a combined development proposal to amend the Official Community Plan to change the Urban Place Designation for the land known as 1521 and 1531 Elford Street from Traditional Residential to Urban Residential, and to also rezone the land known as 1521 Elford Street from the R3-2 Zone, Multiple Dwelling District, and the land known as 1531 Elford Street from the R1-B Zone, Single Family Dwelling District, to the R-79 Zone, Low Rise Multiple Dwelling District, to permit increased density and multiple dwellings to allow for the development of a 32-unit, four-storey apartment building, as well as permitting single family dwellings, two family dwellings, public buildings, rest homes, accessory buildings, and home occupations.

Because this proposal is for a big project and because it has also been in the works since last fall, there are multiple attachments included with it – too many to link.

One particular attachment to note is the Housing Agreement (1521-1531 Elford Street) Bylaw which will also require approval if Council grants approval to the project. The Housing Agreement is pursuant to section 905 of the LGA Housing agreements for affordable and special needs housing and seems to be a legal agreement with the city requiring that strata owners be able to rent out their properties?

City Initiated Rezoning Amendment 520 Niagara

This is a city proposal rezone the land known as 520 Niagara Street from the R-2 Zone, Two Family Dwelling District, to a new R-80 Zone, Niagara Multiple Dwelling District, to permit a ground-oriented multiple dwelling with increased density of up to 1:1 Floor Space Ratio in exchange for the provision of amenities that include the protection of the existing Heritage-Registered building.

Here is a summary article that appeared in Vic News last fall.

Again there are too many attachments to link (see agenda) and I fully anticipate there will be a number of speaker tonight because I’ve heard that this file has been a continued concern in the James Bay community.

DP with Variances 450 Dallas Road

This is a proposal to allow for a high rise to authorize the creation of an additional residential unit (by separating 2 units that were previously combined) within an existing multi-unit building, resulting in a one-stall parking variance in the James Bay neighbourhood.

It got passed on the consent agenda (e.g., with no discussion) when it came through PLUC on February 19 but I still did some Early Thoughts about it. And as far as I understand, no parking stall is being removed, its just that one more residential space is being technically added.

DP with Variances 595 Pandora

This is a proposal to permit the repurposing of the existing office building to 51 residential units with ground floor street facing commercial. The variances are required to:

  • to increase the maximum building height from 15.2m to 18.2m
  • to increase the maximum number of storeys from four to five
  • to allow residential use on the first storey.

Here is the most recent staff report, a letter from the architect, and a letter from some top floor residents of the nearby Vogue Vacation Suites building. Here also is the proposal PPT that I assume will be shown tonight which demonstrates some of the impact of the proposed 3 metre height increase.

Development Variance Permit 549 Toronto

This was a proposal that went through on the consent agenda when it came before PLUC on March 19th because it was a reapplication for a DVP that had lapsed. I still wrote a fair bit about it in my Early Thoughts as it is a proposal for a three-storey, five unit townhouse building that requires the following variances:

  • site coverage reduced from 30% to 44%
  • site area reduced from 920m2 to 850m2
  • front yard setback reduced from 9.0m to 6.2m
  • side yard setbacks reduced from 4.6m to 2.2m (east) and 3.5m (west) side yards
  • landscape strip for surface parking and drive aisle reduced from 0.6m to nil (west) side yard.

Other items – New Business

The Mayor’s use of New Business tonight concerns me and I say this because there a number of odd items on the agenda for direct approval by Council, when the typical process is that items such as these get reviewed by committee prior to moving forward to Council.

I have already written about the two task forces being proposed – that there is an incamera item on tonight’s agenda to appoint members to each task force is additionally worrisome.

Re: Mayor’s request to reconsider refusal of 1330 Ivy Place, I have previously written about the many procedure flaws that were evident in Council’s March 19 decision to not give third reading to the rezoning necessary for 1330 Ivy Place. For Mayor Helps to now be proposing reconsideration based on the most specious of rationale (e.g., not all 9 Council members were present) is quite something. I have many thoughts about it but I will wait and see what happens tonight before I share them.

Here’s to a fun night!






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