April 16 PLUC Early Thoughts

It is a big agenda for the PLUC meeting tomorrow. The last PLUC meeting was nearly a month ago on March 19th and so lots of applications have started working their way down the approval pipe.

What do we have tomorrow?

Rezoning Application 1733 Bank Street

This is a proposal to rezone from the R1-B Zone, Single Family Dwelling District, to a site-specific zone to permit a 16 space child care facility in addition to an existing residential unit, within an existing single family dwelling. The applicant further proposes to reduce the number of required parking stalls from four stalls to the one existing stall. This proposal is said to be consistent with policy 15.8 of the OCP and policy 6.4 of the OCP as well.

Here is the property.

1733 bank street

According to staff report, “kindergartens” are a permitted use in the R1-B zone, subject to the provisions of the House Conversion Regulations, Schedule G of the zoning bylaw which sets out the following conditions:

  • the building must have been constructed as a single family residence prior to 1931
  • a minimum lot area of 670 m2
  • a minimum lot width of 18 m.

And because the subject property does not meet the minimum lot area requirement (it is just slightly below 670 m2 ), a rezoning is required.

Two things about this application for me.

I checked on the province’s ap to see if this property was a licensed facility, and nothing came up which I found odd because I would assume that providing care to 16 children requires a license. Nothing really comes up when you google the owner/applicant (Alyson Culbert) either.

Given our population and our location, I know there are a lot of daycares and whatnot across the city. It therefor seems impractical for staff to be suggesting a unique zone for the proposed daycare use at this site. And I say this because based on my reading of the various zoning components, the only actual technical measure by which the property does not comply with the general zoning requirement for a “kindergarten” is that its property is 1 square metre too small and it doesn’t have parking.

Which seems kind of lame, particularly in how the city’s definition of a “kindergarten” seems out of date and also does not specify class size:

“Kindergarten” means a building licensed as a community care facility under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act* and in which care, supervision or any form of educational or social training not provided under the Schools Act is provided to children under six years of age, for any portion of the day.

*Aren’t the childcare licensing regulations more pertinent?

In sum, the whole application reads to me as a staff response to realizing that the property has a daycare in the first place and they are now struggling to account for this. I hope that I am wrong. Where I fully agree that some public process should be required when the capacity of a neighbourhood daycare doubles such as in this case, I’m sure there is a better process to follow.

In response to the proposed doubling of capacity, here is a letter of opposition from a neighbour whose backyard faces the applicant’s property. It is from a friendly and intelligent sounding grandmother who has many reasonable concerns about having a 16 spot day care operation next-door.

Development Permit 343 Bay Street

This is a proposal to construct a 31 m2 addition to an existing office building. It is noted within the staff report that the proposal is consistent with the objectives to enhance place character through a high quality of architecture, landscape and urban design in Development Permit Area 10A: Rock Bay.  The proposal is also consistent with the Official Community Plan, 2012 and the Burnside Neighbourhood Plan, Revised 2012. 

343 Bay Street

This item will go through on the consent agenda.

Development Permit 1908 Store Street

This is a proposal to construct a new warehouse building (7.2m tall with a footprint of 1355m2 ). According to the staff report, the following points were considered in assessing this application:

  • The proposal is consistent with the Official Community Plan and the applicable Design Guidelines for Development Permit Area 10B (HC): Rock Bay Heritage.
  • The application does not propose any variances from the Zoning Regulation Bylaw.
  • The issuance of a Development Permit must be subject to receipt of written confirmation from the Ministry of Environment (MOE) indicating that matters relating to potential site contamination have been addressed.

Apparently the site is currently used for the outdoor storage of goods and is also occupied by several storage buildings, some of which are in poor repair.

The application also proposes a subdivision to reconfigure a lot line. The purpose of the subdivision is to ensure the proposed building does not straddle a lot line which is a requirement outlined in the Zoning Regulation Bylaw and also necessary to comply with the British Columbia Building Code.

Here is the birds eye view:

1908 Store Street

Here is the legal lot line view from Vic Map:

1908 Store St Legal

I assume this will go through on the consent agenda.

Development Permit 89 Dallas Road

This is a proposal for a temporary building for the sale of ice cream and coffee from a converted steel storage container, with a height of 2.59m and a footprint of 14.9m2 , finished with a painted cedar board and batten siding. The building would be located in the northernmost part of Ogden Point, to the east of the existing Helijet Terminal and approximately 50m from Dallas Road.

I assume this will go through on the consent agenda.

That said, a letter from the JBNA may prompt some discussion.

DP with Variances 1046 North Park

This is a proposal to permit six multiple dwelling units on a narrow empty lot that is zoned CR-NP Zone, North Park Commercial Residential District.  According to the staff report, the following points were considered in assessing this application:

Here is the lot:

1046 North Park

According to the relevant history section of the staff report:

The subject property was previously subject to a Development Variance Permit Application along with the lands known as 1032 and 1040 North Park Street. The application was to consolidate the lots and construct 34 residential units. The application was subsequently cancelled in 2011 and the properties were marketed for sale. The current applicant purchased 1046 North Park and a Development Permit with a parking variance was issued by Council in January 2013 to permit the construction of a three-storey residential triplex. Construction had not commenced on the subject property and the Development Permit expired on January 17, 2015. The applicant has revised its proposal and submitted this current Application for Council’s consideration.

I have pulled out relevant correspondence from the staff report package – this includes a letter from a neighbour and a letter of support from the North Park Neighbourhood Association. Because Variances are required, a public hearing is also required.

DP with Variances 1015 Rockland

This is a proposal to permit minor changes to the previously approved site plan and design of a 14-unit, four-storey apartment building. The variances are related to a slight increase in site coverage and corresponding decrease in open space, the projection of balconies into the rear yard setback, and removal of one vehicle parking stall. The site is presently in the R-73 Zone (Rockland Avenue Multiple Dwelling District) as a result of successful Feb 27 2014 rezoning and is vacant (see pages 1-3).

I guess the little yellow house is gone?

1015 Rockland St

All said and done, it looks like parking is a pretty serious issue along Rockland but the developers (Abstract Developments) seem to be doing a lot to mitigate this – they are providing 11 parking stalls as well as 14 car share members (e.g., one per unit). The Letter from Abstract provides a good summary and history of the file – a better one actually than the 60 page attachment from staff.

A Public Hearing will be required.

Development Variance Permit 1435 Brooke St

This is a proposal for a parking variance to allow for a parking space in the front yard of a dwelling unit located at 1435 Brooke Street in order to facilitate the conversion of a garage into a recreation room. Specific details include:

  • The front yard parking would provide the required off-street parking space for the dwelling unit. Creating a parking space on the east side of the building behind the front of the house is not a practical solution due to the width of the side yard and existing landscaping and retaining wall.
  • The applicant stated that the garage has not been used for parking in the last several years and parking has already been accommodated on the driveway.
  • The proposal is to replace the garage door with a traditional door and window, and extend the existing stucco around the new door and window to match the rest of the house.

Here is a bird’s eye view:

1435 Brook Street

If you look at the form letter  (see page 12) the applicants sent around to neighbours which says “…We have never used the garage to park our car, but 8 am required to inform you of the change…” you will get the sense that this item will be on the consent agenda tomorrow. But you have to remember however, that the variance means that a Public Hearing is required to permit this change, and so I’m sure there will be at least some discussion tomorrow.

Development Variance Permit 759 Yates Street

This is a proposal for a parking variance in order to facilitate the conversion of the existing hotel to market rental housing. Specific details include:

  • The existing hotel contains 100 rooms. The parking requirement in the CA-4 Zone, Central Area Commercial Office District, for transient accommodation is 0.5 parking spaces per unit. A total of 50 parking spaces would be required for the hotel, however, no parking was provided for the hotel when it was constructed in the early 1900s and, therefore, the parking shortfall is legally non-conforming.
  • The applicant proposes a total of 97 residential suites with private bathrooms and one communal kitchen on the second floor.
  • Under the current Zone, the building would require 68 parking spaces (0.7 spaces per residential unit), however, given the building’s legal non-conforming status, the building would only be required to have 18 parking spaces for the residential use. The variance is to reduce the required number of parking spaces from 18 to nil.
  • The existing commercial uses on the ground floor would be retained. There is no parking requirement for commercial uses in the CA-4 Zone.
  • A total of 73 bicycle parking spaces would be provided. The applicant would provide 49 Class 1 bicycle parking spaces in enclosed storage areas and within individual suites and install U-racks and V-racks in the sidewalk on Yates Street to accommodate 24 bicycles.

Apparently this development proposal was first discussed at a December 18, 2014 GPC, and record of relevant discussion is available on pages 12-13 of the minutes for this meeting where it is outlined how the original proposal got sent back for not having enough bike parking. Only 49 spots were originally proposed.

A public hearing will be required for this application.

Heritage Alteration Permit                                                  1205 Wharf Street/10 Bastion Square

According to the staff report, the applicant (The Local) holds a Sidewalk Patio Permit with the City of Victoria, originally issued in 2007 that permitted an outdoor seating area for a restaurant in Bastion Square. In seeking to add features to the established patio that could extend the patio season by mitigating weather conditions, the applicant had discussions with various City staff about a proposal to erect a trellis structure with natural gas heaters. In 2014, the applicant installed the trellis which was attached to an adjacent Heritage-Designated building and included support structures on the City’s land.

This work was undertaken without permits which led to Council discussion at their December 2014 Council meeting and this motion (see pages 15-16 in minutes):

  • That Council Rescind the resolution passed on August 28, 2014 (see bottom page 16) to decline the Heritage Alteration Permit Application for 1205 Wharf Street / 10 Bastion Square, and;
  • That the applicant be permitted the opportunity to resubmit their application to PLUC for the Committee’s consideration.

Here is the detailed patio chronology that was considered in December 2014 and here is the report (written by VCC manager Ms. Jenkyns for some reason) Council considered at the time as well. And according to the staff report for consideration tomorrow (see pages 3-5 Lessons Learned) this issue has been a good one for pointing out many weaknesses in the city’s patio approval process.

The three options before Council tomorrow are to:

  • Allow the proposal as is
  • Make them lower the proposal
  • Make them remove it

The staff recommendation is to allow it as is for a period of one year.

Of note is that I couldn’t find anything when I googled “City of Victoria patio permits” which I’m sure contributes to the issue currently before Council. The other complication which is noted in the staff report, is that Bastion Square is both a park (under the Parks Regulation Bylaw) and a heritage space !

Heritage Alteration Permit 1030 Quadra St

This is a staff report in relation to proposed placement of a memorial for Canadians who served in the war in Afghanistan. The Heritage Advisory Panel is against placing this memorial in Pioneer Square and yet the staff recommendation seems to be to approve it.

Heritage Alteration Permit 151 Osewgo

This staff report is the same report that was provided at the March 19th PLUC meeting which led to the March 19 PLUC request for more information.  I am assuming that the additional information is the short letter from Nickel Bros attesting to how the addition to the heritage building had to be removed in order for the building to be successfully raised for restoration and for construction to continue.

Please see my March 19 Summary of the PLUC meeting where I wrote a fair bit about the conversation I would have asked about this development file and the questions that should have been asked.

 

 

 

 

 

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