Village and Corridor Planning: Fernwood, North Park, and Hillside-Quadra

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What we’re engaging on:

The City is currently working with the community to create Village and Corridor Plans for North Park, Hillside-Quadra and Fernwood.


A healthy and livable community includes people at every stage of life. Help us plan a future that includes everyone.


This is a process about three urban villages, the housing around them and the connections between them. It explores ways in which we can meet our housing, mobility, and public space needs, incrementally over time.


If you’d like to see some of the concepts you can take a virtual tour:

The concepts and directions that come out of this process may depend on redevelopment or City funding and budgeting or may be realized through the active work of engaged community members.


How we got here:

Here is a summary of where we are in this engagement process.


Broad public engagement began in early 2020 which helped us to better understand what is working well in these areas, and what could work better, informing the next phase of engagement. In fall of 2020, draft concepts and directions were developed together with the community.


From December 2020 through until March 14, public feedback on these concepts was collected. A virtual open house including four surveys, three virtual walking tour videos, an introduction video and community forum questions and Q and As were hosted online. Online focus groups and stakeholder meetings were also hosted.


If you’d like to learn more about how we got to this stage, read the Early Engagement Summary or view the How We Got Here Gallery, both found at the right-hand side of the page, along with other useful documents and reference materials.


What decision is being made now? What input are we seeking now?

This fall the community will have another opportunity to share feedback on the draft directions for these plans. Please check back soon to review the draft directions, see a summary of engagement, and provide additional feedback.


When will we be seeking public input?
Please sign up for Project Updates and we will notify you when the next phase opens up for input. We are currently planning for fall 2021.


What is the level of public participation?

Village and corridor planning engagement ranges from consult to collaborate on the Spectrum of Public Participation.


How will input be sought?
Please check back here in the fall to learn how you can participate in the next phase.


Closing the Loop: Post Engagement


Engagement Summary

Thank you for sharing your feedback on Village and Corridor Planning. 650 people shared feedback on this topic between December 8th, 2020 and March 14th, 2021. You can view the Stage Two Engagement Summary here. This Engagement Summary went to Council on July 15th.

What we’re engaging on:

The City is currently working with the community to create Village and Corridor Plans for North Park, Hillside-Quadra and Fernwood.


A healthy and livable community includes people at every stage of life. Help us plan a future that includes everyone.


This is a process about three urban villages, the housing around them and the connections between them. It explores ways in which we can meet our housing, mobility, and public space needs, incrementally over time.


If you’d like to see some of the concepts you can take a virtual tour:

The concepts and directions that come out of this process may depend on redevelopment or City funding and budgeting or may be realized through the active work of engaged community members.


How we got here:

Here is a summary of where we are in this engagement process.


Broad public engagement began in early 2020 which helped us to better understand what is working well in these areas, and what could work better, informing the next phase of engagement. In fall of 2020, draft concepts and directions were developed together with the community.


From December 2020 through until March 14, public feedback on these concepts was collected. A virtual open house including four surveys, three virtual walking tour videos, an introduction video and community forum questions and Q and As were hosted online. Online focus groups and stakeholder meetings were also hosted.


If you’d like to learn more about how we got to this stage, read the Early Engagement Summary or view the How We Got Here Gallery, both found at the right-hand side of the page, along with other useful documents and reference materials.


What decision is being made now? What input are we seeking now?

This fall the community will have another opportunity to share feedback on the draft directions for these plans. Please check back soon to review the draft directions, see a summary of engagement, and provide additional feedback.


When will we be seeking public input?
Please sign up for Project Updates and we will notify you when the next phase opens up for input. We are currently planning for fall 2021.


What is the level of public participation?

Village and corridor planning engagement ranges from consult to collaborate on the Spectrum of Public Participation.


How will input be sought?
Please check back here in the fall to learn how you can participate in the next phase.


Closing the Loop: Post Engagement


Engagement Summary

Thank you for sharing your feedback on Village and Corridor Planning. 650 people shared feedback on this topic between December 8th, 2020 and March 14th, 2021. You can view the Stage Two Engagement Summary here. This Engagement Summary went to Council on July 15th.

Do you have a question about this project?

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    Will we have an opportunity to provide input on the future of Bay Street?

    BaySt asked 24 days ago

    Thank you for your question.

     

    Yes. Planning for land use, urban design and refinement of future of mobility objectives for Bay Street from Blanshard Street to Shelbourne Street is being considered through the current engagement regarding local area planning for the Fernwood neighbourhood. 

     

    The most recent engagement process ran from December to March and we heard many ideas for the areas along and near Bay Street. A set of key directions and next phase of engagement is being proposed and, upon Council approval, would be considered through further consultation this fall. 

     

    This topic will be presented to Council at their Committee of the Whole meeting this Thursday.  Once the engagement summary has gone to Council, it will be posted here: Village and Corridor Planning: Fernwood, North Park, and Hillside-Quadra | Have Your Say (victoria.ca)

     

    You can tune into this meeting on Thursday morning or watch for updates online that will include key directions for the Fernwood area, including Bay Street.

     

    Engagement on parts of Bay Street east of the Shelbourne-Bay intersection will be undertaken as part of the next round of Villages and Corridors Planning, which is anticipated to take place in 2022.

     

    Thank you for your interest.

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    If a section of North Park is closed off to make a community centre what will happen on small parallel streets like Mason and Grant which are very narrow? Mason is currently one way. Grant seems to be increasingly used as a detour to avoid the Cook St. and Pandora intersection. Has the City accounted for the massive heritage Garry Oak on the corner of Grant and Chambers?

    Bernadette asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. To clarify, the proposed directions or North Park Street include a temporary public plaza on North Park Street just east of Cook Street. Since this plan will be implemented over many years, no changes to North Park Street will be realized immediately, and a key intent behind this direction is to test it as a pilot project first (making it simple to adjust or remove as we monitor how it works). Any future changes to North Park Street would include a Traffic Impact Study on surrounding streets and would be conducted by the City of Victoria’s Transportation and Engineering Teams at a future date.

    Regarding the Garry Oak on the corner of Grant and Chambers, the City has a Tree Protection Bylaw and is currently in the process of updating this Bylaw. The new Tree Protection Bylaw will help implement the goals of the City’s Urban Forest Master Plan. The Bylaw will provide a balanced approach to protecting and growing Victoria’s private urban forest by protecting retained trees whenever possible, replacing every Bylaw-protected tree removed, and growing tree canopy across the City.

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    What land will the city be purchasing/utilizing for public non means-tested housing? Is there a strategy or plan to illustrate how much more land will be allocated for this in the next 10 years say? These efforts look incredible and very progressive; however, there's little mention of what land is going to contain public housing. When municipalities spend money on beautification, transit, roadways, etc. it will disproportionately benefit landowners. One of the most tried and true methods of addressing housing "affordability" is to build first come first serve non means-tested public housing. This effort houses people, removes portions of land from market increases, and can do a lot to stabilize existing markets. Density on its own isn't proven to combat housing affordability. The city I want to live in will contain public housing for working families making 20-60k per year.

    AdamP asked 7 months ago

    Thanks for your question. Local Area Planning is meant to support broader efforts to maintain inclusive communities for diverse incomes. The City’s Victoria Housing Strategy defines the City’s role in the provision of affordable housing; to assess and forecast Victoria’s affordable housing needs now and in the future, and to establish targets and tools to meet those needs. The strategy directs actions to be completed over a three year period, in order to increase the supply and diversity of affordable and market housing across the housing spectrum and throughout Victoria that meets the current and future residents. Here are a few initiatives you may be interested in:

     

    • The City is actively contributing land to affordable housing, including acquiring new land for affordable housing use, including a recent purchase at 930 Pandora avenue.  This is an ongoing process and requires partnership with senior governments and local non-profit housing providers, as well as is guided by the Housing Strategy and the City’s Strategic Plan.
    • The City provides capital grants for the development and retention of affordable housing through the Victoria Housing Reserve Fund.
    • The City encourages affordable housing in new multi-unit strata development through the Inclusionary Housing and Community Amenity Policy.
    • The City has a number of policies and current initiatives to create and retain rental housing.  

     

    We are committed to these policies and initiatives, as well as other housing related work we have underway. However, addressing the housing crisis – ensuring there is enough of the right supply across the housing continuum –  is a shared responsibility across all levels of government. Although the City of Victoria, as a municipality, plays an important role, we do not have the same legal authority or resources as other levels of government to address the wide array of housing challenges that we face. We continue to coordinate with the regional district and neighbouring municipalities by setting shared goals and targets. We also work together with affordable housing providers and advocate to senior levels of government to achieve these goals. 

     

    While Local Area Planning doesn’t identify specific lots to be purchased by either the City, Province or affordable housing providers in the future, it can help to identify where such housing may be appropriate and things like desired urban design and landscape. Local Area Planning is also a key way in which consider potential areas for residential rental tenure zoning (RRTZ). Both the housing strategy and local area planning aim to protect existing renters and rental buildings, while allowing us to meet future needs for diverse housing choices.

     

    Most non-market housing is constructed either by the CRD, BC Housing or non-profit housing partners. BC Housing funding models include a mix of shelter-rate, rent-geared-to-income and market rate (non-means-tested) housing. There are also projects proposed or approved for affordable housing throughout Victoria and the Region. This includes the proposed mixed-income Caledonia Development in Fernwood, for which you may submit public input (a public hearing has not yet been set), and recent projects in Hillside-Quadra, James Bay, Rock Bay, Fairfield and Harris Green.

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    Why is Oak bay and other affluent areas not doing there part to house the low income why is it dis-proportionally placed in Quadra village area ,thus our high crime rate in area, why is the city not dealing with this very unfair and we have been given false promises of sharing and spreading of the low income housing and homeless problem.

    Russ asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Housing affordability is one of the most significant challenges facing the City of Victoria and the Capital region as a whole today. Addressing the housing crisis requires all levels of government and community partners to work together. The goal of the City’s housing strategy is to encourage new and preserve existing affordable housing and community services within all neighbourhoods. You can learn more about the many actions underway on the City’s housing webpage

     

    The City also partners with other municipalities in the Capital Region to take a coordinated approach to addressing housing as a regional issue. Each municipality in the region is responsible for contributing to housing affordability, and the City of Victoria advocates for collaboration and leadership in achieving these shared goals. You can learn more about the coordinated regional effort on the Capital Regional District’s website

     

    There are many affordable housing projects either under review or recently approved throughout Victoria, including ones in James Bay, Rock Bay, Fairfield, Fernwood, and Harris Green. Within the region, there are also multiple affordable housing projects receiving funding from BC Housing’s various funding programs. Here is a map of all the housing projects across BC: https://www.bchousing.org/projects-partners/Building-BC/homes-for-BC

     

    As to the impacts of affordable housing on the surrounding neighbourhood, studies have show that while there is often concern that new affordable housing will increase crime rates, that is generally not the case. Indeed, through high-quality building design – as achieved through Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) guidance – and thoughtful community integration by service providers, affordable housing can have a positive overall impact on the local area, and increase social cohesion and resiliency. As an example, here is a case study from a BC Housing site in Victoria.  

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    I can't find the place to give you input. I tried to register last week. It didn't work. I guess I'm now registered but the survey doesn't ask anything about my vision for Fernwood. I regret that we no longer have the opportunity to update our local community plan which truly represents the vision of the community. I don't find this process a viable substitute for that.

    ptarmigan44 asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The current survey and open house addresses ideas to support four key areas that are the focus of city planning – housing choices that support diverse incomes, household types, ages and lifestyles; enjoyable public spaces; resilient urban villages; and safe and sustainable ways to get around. These areas are key components of neighbourhoods, and importantly are areas where local area plans can be most effective. The Fernwood survey and Housing and Amenities survey invite your feedback on what you’d like to see in these areas. If you feel the questions do not address the areas you’d like to communicate, you may also send an email, speak with us individually or as part of a group, or take part in the discussion forums.

     

    Local Area Planning will indeed result in an update to the 1990s Fernwood Plan, and set the stage for City, private or community activities that can help achieve the community vision. Local area planning works in conjunction with city plans such as the Housing Strategy, Urban Forest Master Plan, Sustainable Mobility Strategy, Climate Leadership Strategy, and Parks and Recreation Master Plan to support our varied community values. Additional topics identified by the community – including supporting the arts and culture, placemaking, and other community initiatives – can also be integrated into this process and are anticipated to be the subject of ongoing conversations in partnership with community stakeholders during 2021.

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    Are the 2 development proposals near Vic High considered a done deal...both off Chambers...when considering this plan.

    Soping.52 asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The proposal for rezoning to support affordable and mixed-income housing on the lands adjacent to Vic High school, known as the Caledonia Redevelopment, is still in progress and has not gone to a public hearing. This proposal was received prior to the current local area planning process, and our process will respond to whatever is decided at the Caledonia site. Here is a link to the rezoning application with up-to-date proposed plans and information.  The proposal is to rezone to a new residential rental tenure zone in order to increase the density to 1.29:1 floor space ratio (FSR) and permit five residential buildings, including four and five-storey multi-unit residential buildings and three blocks of townhouses, consisting of approximately 158 affordable and below-market rental dwelling units with on-site open space.  

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    I noticed every unit in Victoria is just out of range for people on PWD disability and Income assistance. Is it even legal to increase rent intentionally to push out low-income people? People on pwd get $1200 per month. You cant even get a bachelor for a single person for that much. People on income assistance only get $710 per month. This is why their is so much homelessness and poverty here. People are illegally pushing the boundries of how high you can set rent. And now its gotten out of control and should be regulated and corrected. Or it will continue to create more homeless poverty which will effect the community as a whole. Something needs to happen. Also. By law should stop throwing away peoples tents. With all their stuff in it. Thats their only home. Their only clothes. And the city thinks they can just hide behind bylaw and allow them to throw away tents aka Homes. When shelters are full and are an unhealthy environment for sober people trying to over come homeelssness. I was one of them. Now im.housed and employed to an organization called The Existence Project as a program developer, advocate of homelessness with lived experience and public speaker. Im known as Cory Resilient Ive been featured on the martlet, victoria news and megaphone magazine. Im active in thr community in helping with solutions around housing poverty and homelessness. And the way the system is now. Is causing homelessness. New users and the deterioration of the community as a whole. But the system likes to put the blame on the homeless individual that grew uo 14 years old in the street with no family or parents. Let me know how I can get involved and where I can fit in. Ill show up. www.coryresilient.com

    CoryResilient asked 8 months ago

    Hi Corey, we’d be happy to talk further and will reach out to you directly. We value the input of all community members including people with lived experience of homelessness. The City and region continue to create homes for those needing non-market and below-market affordable housing, with close to 600 such homes approved in Victoria and hundreds in surrounding communities over the last 2 years. Our Housing Strategy includes 44 actions, to support housing for people of diverse incomes, ages, family types and lifestyles and protect current renters.Municipalities, the CRD, and senior governments all play a part. We recognize the need is greater than the number of available homes, and that income supports at the provincial level have not kept pace with housing costs. Our Housing Targets indicate that we will need to add housing across the income spectrum and different types of households.

    The City does not control the price of existing or new market-rate apartments and suites. With vacancy rates of 1% or less, we know it is difficult to find housing and there is pressure on rents. Local Area Planning seeks to make room for diverse housing needs, including for housing created through non-market and affordable housing programs, in all neighbourhoods.

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    To what extent are residents from areas outside the villages and cooridors under consideration able to participate? Since Victoria is such a small city and we all use the entire city and are concerned about its development as a whole, avenues for wide participation seem appropriate to me.

    Convivio asked 9 months ago

    Thanks for your email. We welcome input from all our residents and are launching the next round of engagement very soon, so we hope you’ll participate. Local knowledge is important: we recognize that as community members, we cross neighbourhood boundaries all the time when we work, shop, access services and amenities, attend school or seek suitable housing, and that we all have a stake in our community’s future.

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    l see that you are now at midpoint in this planning, so I wouldn't be able to put in my opinions. Why is it that Victoria Engage does not send out notice at the beginning of a planning consultation so that everyone interested could get involved?

    Nancy Kenyon asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your email. We are actually launching the next round of engagement within the next week where you are welcome to provide your input. This process began early this year with a round of early engagement, and has been postponed and altered in the approach due to COVID-19. We welcome feedback and hope you’ll come back to the project page next week to provide your feedback. 

    The upcoming round of engagement will be accompanied by notice to renters, owners and businesses within the area and promotion to those who live, work, spend time in and care about the future of these areas.

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    How is traffic calming along the entirety of Fernwood Road being addressed? The speeding is pervasive and extremely dangerous, especially in the morning and at dusk. At night people go at least 60 km an hour past Grant- I was almost hit.

    Screenname12355 asked 9 months ago

    Thanks for your question. Traffic calming is now being addressed as part of an ongoing city-wide program as opposed to being addressed through Local Area Plan updates and allows citizens to request traffic calming at any time, not once every 10-20 years. In the past, traffic calming was done as part of 20-year “Neighbourhood Transportation Management Plans” however, now that there is city-wide funding and planning, this more proactive and effective approach is how the City plans to move forward in regards to traffic calming. Find out more on the Traffic Calming webpage