Category Archives: Big Issues

This is a place for posts related to ongoing issues and initiatives of the City of Victoria

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

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

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

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

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

A Topaz Park Tent City Primer

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.

Enjoy! Sorry I won’t be there to tweet tomorrowContinue reading A Topaz Park Tent City Primer

What to Expect of the Housing Affordability Task Force

This is a post that has been in the works for a while now.

I attended the final meeting of the Mayor’s Housing Affordability Task Force back on June 30th (agenda here). It was quite interesting for many reasons – not only for how complex the issues of housing and housing affordability are with multiple actors and multiple stakeholders with multiple priorities but also for how the people gathered around the HATF table were behaving & interacting with each other.  Continue reading What to Expect of the Housing Affordability Task Force

My feedback on draft housing affordability recommendations

Here is what I just submitted to housing@victoria.ca in accordance with the guidance provided on the City website specific to the actions of the Mayor’s task force on Affordable Housing. For context on my item specific responses please note that I have simply created a sequential list of the recommendations identified in this short report from the city explaining the need for and proposed sequencing of each recommendation. Continue reading My feedback on draft housing affordability recommendations

Housing Affordability Task Force Workshop

I wanted to write something about the Affordable Housing Task force workshop that I attended on Monday night. But I have struggled to pull something useful together about this event that was held to receive input on the proposed draft recommendations that have been put forward. I can tell you the first thing I did was put these recommendations in a spreadsheet so that they made more sense to look at.

Here by the way is a PDF of this spreadsheet which neatly depicts how the 25 recommendations are captured by two main themes and spread across 3 years (2016-18). The two themes include: Continue reading Housing Affordability Task Force Workshop

Saanich vs. Victoria

As you all know I’ve been spending a lot of time observing what goes on in the City of Victoria Council chambers. So much so that sometime I feel as though I’ve lost my grip on reality. Truthfully. In order to get it back, I have been making the rounds to other municipalities, as well as checking out the CRD as a way of gathering some context. Through these visit I’ve come to see how different everyone is, particularly Saanich (largest population) and Victoria (largest budget).

Here is a sample of some such differences.  Continue reading Saanich vs. Victoria