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
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
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
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?
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)?
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
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.
I expected that it would be a short meeting this morning, and I was correct (video here) but what still managed to surprise me was how Council spent their time during this committee meeting. As usual, the meeting started (agenda here) with Mayor Helps presenting her suggestions for the consent agenda (items to be passed but not discussed) and Councillor Isitt pulling most of them off.
Which is good because, why put something on the agenda if it isn’t meant to be discussed? Regarding the consent agenda and undiscussed acceptance of costs for sending councillors to UBCM, I couldn’t help noticing how different the costs are for each member of city council attending this event(largely because of differences mostly in travel & accommodation). For instance if we look at the two requests approved today: Continue reading September 3 GPC Summary & Observations
As your local resident Council meeting live-tweeter and blogger I’ve observed the entire jumbled City process that has been, hey ok, we’ve got a bunch of folks sleeping in parks that costs us a lot of money to deal with so let’s do something. To assist with this issue moving forward, I have cobbled together relevant blog posts to create an easy reading summary of the issue to date.
So I learned a lot about plastic bags and the efforts of the Divest Victoria group while attending the lengthy Council meeting on Thursday (video here agenda here). Why was the meeting so long? Well mostly because a total of 17 people signed up for their respective 5 minutes to address Council and all but 3 of these groups were on the topics of banning plastic bags and socially responsible investing, as driven by the Divest Victoria group.
This clip (see below) from the especially verbose Councillor Isitt (maybe because he missed Planning and Land Use meeting earlier in the day) neatly encapsulates the general level of municipal operational professionalism at play on Thursday night. Continue reading July 23 Council Summary & Observations