The 1875 property, known as "Pentrelew," is the homestead of our first Attorney General.
It is one of only a handful of legacy properties left in Victoria. It is Rockland's Urban Forest. It is the gateway to our historic neighborhood.
(Street Address: 1201 Fort Street)
There is more to building a wonderful liveable city, like Victoria, BC, than filling every available space with luxury condominiums.
What we build today becomes tomorrow's heritage.
HERE ARE SOME GUIDING IDEAS
- We believe in development - not over-development. Do not confuse Development with Progress.
- We believe in the Official Community Plan - not in emasculating it.
- We believe that development should be sensitive to its surroundings - not overpower it. Massing, height and set-backs are important.
- We believe in housing that is built for housing - not for investing. Density within the limits of the site and the neighbourhood.
- We believe that the concerns of the local community are more important than the wealth of outside investors. Community concerns over private profit.
- We believe that the Council and City Staff are our representatives - the Gatekeepers of the Public Good. They should not promote private gain at the expense of the Public.
- We believe that the Community Amenity Calculation and the Density Bonus must be based on the increase of built floor space awarded by rezoning - just like other cities in B.C. - Why is City Hall giving everything away for free that comes from the increase in wealth created by rezoning and bonus density?
The third proposal is now at City Hall.
You can visit the Development Tracker at Victoria City Hall (www.victoria.ca), or
to visit site.
You can see from the documentation that now you have to be an expert to understand just what changes have been made.
VIEWED ON ITS OWN MERITS - THIS PROPOSAL SHOULD BE DECLINED.
Here are the various files on the agenda for the Committee of the Whole Meeting Thursday Dec. 14, 2017
Click here to visit COTW Agenda Item #7
Click here to view Staff Recommendation
It took the developer a short 3 weeks
(October 26, 2017 when the CoTW sent the plans back for revision to Nov. 15, 2017)
to make these hasty changes to re-submit their design with
as little new public input as possible.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE THIRD PROPOSAL?
- This third proposal, this island fortress, has more floor space (FSR = 1.33:1 Don't forget the Bicycle Storage Area) than recommended by the most optimistic reading of the OCP.
- The large building (Building A) on Fort Street is a whopping 6-storeys in height, dwarfing anything along the heritage corridor of Fort Street. It is too massive in bulk.
- The second building (Building B) is too high and massive, dwarfing the houses to the south and the nine townhouses along Pentrelew Place.
- There is no 'transition' to the residential neighbourhood, because both Buildings A and B are too tall, too massive, and command all views.
HERE'S A SYNOPSIS OF THE THIRD PROPOSAL
Click here to view a synopsis of Third Proposal.
The next meeting of the Mayor and Council (Committee of the Whole, or COTW) to view the third proposal is scheduled for December 14th, 2017.
We have very little time!
CONTACT THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL TODAY!
DEADLINE FOR YOUR LETTER: DECEMBER 12th, 2017
On Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, the City Staff published their comments on this third revised proposal.
Here it is. Click Staff Recommendation
This entire process is set up to give us very little time to decide. 6 Days Maximum. Is that enough time?
Ask yourself why this is done. Why do we not have a public meeting to fully understand this $38 million proposal?
Why are we building so much, so quickly, and destroying the character of Victoria in the process?
Are we over-building to satisfy Mayor Helps' mistaken belief that "15% of all Canadians want to move to Victoria?" (That's 5 million people!)
To hear her words, click to get to city's webcasting website
Scroll down toggle bar to Archived Videos and look for this entry:
Council Nov 23, 2017 07h 20m Agenda Video MP4 Video
Click on "Video" or "MP4 Video".
Once it is loaded, go to the 2 hour 14 minute mark. Watch, listen and learn (for a minute.)
Click to hear the Director of City Planning Department
on CBC Radio's "On the Island", Nov. 21, 2017
"when filling a vacant lot...we want to make sure that [the development] fits into the context of the neighbourhood, and that [it is] acceptable to the broader neighbourhood."
This development proposal
DOES NOT FIT into the neighbourhood.
Something this massive, this tall, and this dense never will!"
Click Click to see one letter.
WRITE YOUR LETTER BY DECEMBER 12th, 2017
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
Click Table of Floor Space in Proposals
- The amount of floor space that the current zoning allows is 6,253 square meters.
- The amount of floor space possible (for this site) under the most wildly optimistic interpretation
by the Official Community Plan is 10,126 square meters. (This is an increase of 3,875 square meters, or 62% over the norm.)
- The first application was sent back for revision.
- The applicant actually increased the floor space in the second proposal. The corporation applied for 10,898 square meters. (An increase of 4,645 square meters, or 74% over the norm.)
- The second application was sent back for revision.
- Now, in the THIRD application, the corporation demands 10,219 square meters, still over the maximum
by the OCP. (It is an increase of 3966 square meters, or 63% over the norm!)
72% of the Site is zoned Traditional Residential. Floor Space Ratio MAXIMUM (FSR) = 1.00:1
(FSR = 1 square foot of finished space to 1 square foot of land.
Most residences achieve much less than this, say 0.50:1:00 in a Traditional Residential Zone.
Or, a house of 2,500 sq. ft on a plot of land of 5,000 sq. ft.)
This is further shaped by strict requirements for height and space to other properties as well as the set-back to City property.)
These niceties of zoning make good neighbours and liveable neighbourhoods. Normal zoning requirements have been absent from all three proposals on this property.
Click List of Variances Recommended by City Staff to change Zoning for defeated Proposal.
The second proposal (FSR 1.39:1) RECOMMENDED BY CITY STAFF - has been sent back for revision.
Now, we are facing the Third Proposal (FSR 1.33:1 - don't forget the Bicycle Storage Area!)
FSR of 1.33:1 is a 6,650 sq ft Building on land of 5,000 square feet. (5,000 x 1.33)
Imagine how you would feel if your neighbour could build such a large building on the property beside you! It could manifest itself as a 7-storey building with a footprint of 1000 sq. ft. Or, a 5-storey building with a footprint of 1,500 sq. ft. Or, a 3 1/2 storey building with a footprint of 2,000 sq. ft. What if it was further subdivided into 8 units with parking for only 4 cars?
And, imagine, if all of this was recommended by City Staff! Further, that the Mayor was tired of hearing from the local neighbours (who object) and would rather hear from a wider group of people (to lessen your voice).
The Committee of the Whole met to discuss the second proposal on
Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 9am.
In an historic decision, this proposal was NOT advanced to a Public Hearing. This was a complete surprise to the Mayor, and a win for transparency in government.
Your voice does matter.
(Scroll to bottom of page for links to City Hall Webcast of the second COTW meeting.)
PLEASE CONTACT THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL.
About the third proposal now before us.
- - - Sample Email.Please fill in your name and address!
It is believed by many people that the Mayor and Council only listen to developers. In our case, it is untrue. The Mayor and Council will listen when many small voices (you and me) communicate to them.
Don't be silent. Write your letter by December 12, 2017!
We have to communicate with City Hall because the Mayor wants the opinions of the wider public to overpower local voices.
She said at the COTW "I am prepared to send this to public hearing. We have heard a lot on this site and about this site
and I think this is one that we need to take a bit of a wider perspective on in the same way we had to with the St. Andrews development...
I have to say that the new proposal is much better than the first proposal"
This is a direct appeal to water down, dilute and, otherwise, muzzle local voices on local concerns.
Apathy is Mayor Helps' best friend.
William Lyon MacKenzie King: "When there is little or no public opinion, there is likely to be bad government, which sooner or later becomes autocratic government."
UNOFFICAL TRANSCRIPT OF Second CotW MEETING
Click UNOFFICIAL Transcript of Second COTW Meeting
This is an unofficial Transcript of the Second Committee of the Whole Meeting at Victoria City Hall on the morning of Oct. 26, 2017 (when the 2nd proposal was sent back for revision.)
ELECTION RESULTS FOR VICTORIA 2014
Lisa Helps only won by 89 votes!
- Lisa Helps 9,200 Votes (37.63% of votes cast.)
- Dean Fortin 9,111 Votes (37.27% of votes cast.)
Six councillors received more votes individually (in a crowded field) than our Mayor.
The entire Official Results for the last two municipal elections
Click Election Results 2014
Click Election Results 2011
HISTORICAL RECORD OF LETTERS TO COUNCIL - FIRST PROPOSAL
Click Letters to Council (First Batch)
Click Letters to Council (Second Batch)
Click Letters to Council (Third Batch)
Click Letters to Council (Fourth Batch)
Click Why, in this boom, the City's coffers are empty.
HISTORICAL RECORD OF LETTERS TO COUNCIL - SECOND PROPOSAL
Click Letters to Council (First Batch)
Click Letters to Council (Second Batch)
Click Letters to Council (Third Batch)
SOME OF THE LETTERS SENT TO CITY HALL FOR SECOND PROPOSAL.
Click Power Point Slide Show
Power point slide shows the development.
Click Comparison Table of Each Proposal
Most Important Table of Comparisons between both proposals.
We are overbuilding #1
Double Click to Download Overbuilding Spreadsheet
We are overbuilding #2 Spreadsheet
Double Click to Download Alternate Vision
Alternate Vision for Site
Click Table of Councillors' Concerns
Table detailing the List of Concerns Expressed by Council
Click Another Vision
Click Historical View
Click Directions Ignored
Click Proposals Summary
Click Duty to Say No
Click Direct and to the point
Click Increasing Size
Click Words and Actions
Click Architect's Viewpoint
Click You Break It - You Buy It
Click The Loss of Trees
Click Good Town Planning
Click Sensible Planning
Click Urban Forest
Click Lacks that 'Vision Thing'
Click Affordable Units
Click CHOA Article on Condo non-rental benefits
Click Community Meeting as Real Estate Investment
Click King Lear's Fool
Click Externalize Costs to Internalize Profit
Click FSR and Assumptions
Automatic email link to Mayor and Council Mayorandcouncil@victoria.ca
(The individual email addresses of the Mayor and each of the 8 councillors can be found on the City Hall Website.)
City Staff Recommendations for this second proposal of Abstract Developments. Could there be any more truth to Karl Marx's quotation?
" History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."
City Staff Recommendation for Approval
You can find the entire file at City Hall by following this link:
Click Get City File on Proposal.
It is Item #4 on the Agenda.
Click Get to Webcast site.
You should look in the Archived Videos. Under Videos for the Date of Oct. 26, 2017 in the file of 5 hours 34 minutes duration.
This proposal starts in about 1 hour in and ends at the 2 hour 30 minute mark.
Click 2016 OCP Annual Review
for the 2016 Official Community Plan Annual Review
When it comes to explaining the underlying reason guiding this proposal, Calvin nails it!
The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book by Bill Watterson