Letter to Council: Conceptual Drawings for the South East Plaza – Johnson Street Bridge Public
1715 Government Street Victoria, BC V8W 1Z4 250.386.5503
Mayor Lisa Helps and Council City of Victoria No.1 Centennial Square Victoria, BC
January 27, 2016
Re: Conceptual Drawings for the South East Plaza-JSB Public Realm Workshop Findings
Dear Mayor Helps and Council
DRA Land Use Committee members and I participated in the JSB Public Realm workshop in its entirety for the East Side bridge approaches held in October 2015. Conceptual designs were workshopped by two groups throughout the day and a wrap up was held at day’s end to review the findings.
Upon my review of the report being presented to Council regarding the outcomes of this workshop, I was surprised to find some glaring discrepancies between what was actually designed and discussed at this workshop and the findings presented within Mr Tinney’s report.
On the day of the “Eastside” workshop, the two working groups produced nearly identical concept drawings for the South East Plaza even though they worked separately. The groups coalesced around the same design elements and layout and it was this single concept that was put forward for discussion at the final wrap up. This single vision is accurately depicted by “New Concept A” within the Director’s report.
However, the report to Council states, “On the downtown side of the bridge, two distinctly different concepts developed for the south east plaza area based on suggestions from the group. ”. A second and distinctly different concept has been included in the Director’s report as “New Concept B”, giving it equal weight with the first. In fact, many of the design elements incorporated in New Concept B are in direct contradiction to the input provided by the participants at the workshop. Therefore I strongly represent since the participants at the workshop did not develop New Concept B for the South East Plaza, I have difficulty with it being presented as if it had come from this comprehensive process, along with the “Public Consultation” bona fides it implies.
New Concept B for the South East Plaza should not be included within the version of the Director’s report that is accepted by Council.
I have confirmed my recollection of the outcomes developed at the workshop with fellow participants from:
DRA Landuse Committee Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society Greater Victoria Placemaking Merrick Architecture Reliance Properties
Ian Sutherland Chair Land Use Committee Downtown Residents Association