Letter to Council: 930 Fort Street CALUC

1715 Government Street Victoria, BC, V8W 1Z4

Mayor and Council City of Victoria No.1 Centennial Square Victoria, BC, V8W 1P6

March 26, 2018

Re: REZ 00593 ‐ 930 Fort Street

Dear Mayor Helps and Council,

The DRA LUC has reviewed the drawings for the proposed building and hosted a CALUC meeting on May 17th 2017 for the above mentioned application. Nine people registered their attendance at the door.

Based on the information presented by the applicant, the purpose of the rezoning is to create a 12 storey, 62 unit residential condominium tower with ground floor commercial space fronting Fort Street. The building would have an underground parking structure for 32 cars. The proposal appears to comply with OCP guidelines.

Comments and concerns raised by the attendees and Committee members are as follows:

• Only half the units will be supplied with parking which appears below current minimums usually required for multi family dwellings. Some residents of this building will likely be competing for the rapidly dwindling supply of commercially provided downtown parking spaces. This will displace tourists and business customers with a negative impact on businesses. • It was unexpected that the OCP and the Downtown Core Area Plan promote such a complete change in character to what currently exists on Fort Street. The character of what is one of the most attractive and charming streets in the city will be eliminated. • While this building is tall, it is slender; allowing for light, air and views around it. It retains the rhythm of the narrow existing lots and proposes a podium height that reflects the adjacent building heights that are unlikely to change for many years. This form is preferable to mammoth buildings like others proposed nearby that amalgamate several lots into one massive project. • Buildings of this slender width should be encouraged for the Fort Street corridor perhaps though amendments to the Downtown Core Area Plan as they better express and reflect the existing lot size and character of Fort Street and provide a more appropriate transition to the immediately adjacent, much lower density, residential neighbourhood of Fairfield. • This project is a simple and attractive design to be constructed of concrete and steel which offers residents superior livability. High quality cladding materials are specified which is commendable. • It is commendable that this application proposes a good range of unit sizes including a high percentage of larger units which can serve couples and families. • The lack of an overhead door for the visitor car park area creates security/safety concerns. It is suggested that an overhead door be added that will secure this area. • This project (like many others) will be making a monetary contribution under the density bonus provisions of the DCAP to raise the allowable base density by 45% from 3:1 to 5.5:1. It seems odd that the City has assessed a flat rate for the extra density of only $12 per sq ft buildable (or potentially even less under a consultants “Land Lift Analysis”) for 45% of the project when the equivalent land cost to otherwise achieve this density would be around four times that amount. The CAC amounts collected under the current assessment framework seem at odds with DCAP Section 4.14 (Calculating Monetary Contributions) and are insufficient to fund the amenities that will be required by the rapidly growing Downtown community.

DRA Land Use Committee review of this proposal finds it of a high build quality and design, fitting for the local area, and technically in keeping with the stated objectives of the OCP.

Sincerely,

Ian Sutherland

Chair Land Use Committee Downtown Residents Association cc COV Planning

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