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


New Neighbourhood Plans for Fernwood, North Park and Hillside-Quadra

Following a public hearing on July 14, 2022, Council approved new neighbourhood plans for North Park, Fernwood and Hillside-Quadra, as well as associated amendments to the City's Official Community Plan. You can view the report, presentation and discussion here.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the development of these plans over the past two and a half years.

About the Plans

How We Got Here

Community engagement to update these three neighbourhood plans began in 2020. After two phases of engagement, draft plans and design guidelines were shared with the community in October 2021 for feedback. Revisions to these draft plans were made based on public input received in a third phase of engagement before being brought forward for Council's consideration.

Read the full Council report here and watch the recording of the May 5 Committee of the Whole meeting here.

What We Heard

While each neighbourhood has its own distinct traits and individual priorities, we heard throughout engagement the desire for 15-minute communities. This means a wider range of housing options, both on and off transit corridors, walkable urban villages with local businesses, and public spaces that bring people together. We also heard the desire for planning that supports equitable, diverse and inclusive communities.

In early 2020, we explored issues, opportunities and big ideas together with the community. More than 1,000 residents provided ideas and insights about what they love and would like to see improved in Fernwood, North Park and Hillside-Quadra neighbourhoods. You can find the Early Engagement Summary here.

Building on what we heard and what we learned through technical studies and analysis, the City then hosted a series of planning and design workshops with diverse community members in the fall of 2020. Draft concepts were developed together with the community and were presented to the broader public for review and feedback through focus groups, online surveys and this online platform. Read the Phase 2 Engagement Summary here.

In Phase 3, draft policies, plans and design guidelines were presented to the broader public for feedback. We heard general support for most of what was proposed, and continued emphasis on diversity and affordability in new housing as well as local businesses, services and amenities to serve a growing population. This input has informed the revised Neighbourhood Plans and Design Guidelines that are now being considered for adoption. More detail can be found in the Phase 3 Engagement Summary here.

What was the level of public participation?

The third phase of engagement ranged from inform to consult on the Spectrum of Public Participation. The community was consulted about the content of the three Draft Neighbourhood Plans and the associated Draft Design Guidelines, Official Community Plan Amendments and zoning directions.

The Draft Neighbourhood Plans are based on findings from Phases 1 and 2 of engagement, which included efforts to consult, involve and collaborate with members of the community.

The City has designed an engagement process that emphasizes equity, diversity and inclusion. We want to hear all voices, including those who are often underrepresented in the community planning process.

For additional resources about the engagement, analysis and the community engagement process, see the 'Documents' section at the bottom right.



New Neighbourhood Plans for Fernwood, North Park and Hillside-Quadra

Following a public hearing on July 14, 2022, Council approved new neighbourhood plans for North Park, Fernwood and Hillside-Quadra, as well as associated amendments to the City's Official Community Plan. You can view the report, presentation and discussion here.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the development of these plans over the past two and a half years.

About the Plans

How We Got Here

Community engagement to update these three neighbourhood plans began in 2020. After two phases of engagement, draft plans and design guidelines were shared with the community in October 2021 for feedback. Revisions to these draft plans were made based on public input received in a third phase of engagement before being brought forward for Council's consideration.

Read the full Council report here and watch the recording of the May 5 Committee of the Whole meeting here.

What We Heard

While each neighbourhood has its own distinct traits and individual priorities, we heard throughout engagement the desire for 15-minute communities. This means a wider range of housing options, both on and off transit corridors, walkable urban villages with local businesses, and public spaces that bring people together. We also heard the desire for planning that supports equitable, diverse and inclusive communities.

In early 2020, we explored issues, opportunities and big ideas together with the community. More than 1,000 residents provided ideas and insights about what they love and would like to see improved in Fernwood, North Park and Hillside-Quadra neighbourhoods. You can find the Early Engagement Summary here.

Building on what we heard and what we learned through technical studies and analysis, the City then hosted a series of planning and design workshops with diverse community members in the fall of 2020. Draft concepts were developed together with the community and were presented to the broader public for review and feedback through focus groups, online surveys and this online platform. Read the Phase 2 Engagement Summary here.

In Phase 3, draft policies, plans and design guidelines were presented to the broader public for feedback. We heard general support for most of what was proposed, and continued emphasis on diversity and affordability in new housing as well as local businesses, services and amenities to serve a growing population. This input has informed the revised Neighbourhood Plans and Design Guidelines that are now being considered for adoption. More detail can be found in the Phase 3 Engagement Summary here.

What was the level of public participation?

The third phase of engagement ranged from inform to consult on the Spectrum of Public Participation. The community was consulted about the content of the three Draft Neighbourhood Plans and the associated Draft Design Guidelines, Official Community Plan Amendments and zoning directions.

The Draft Neighbourhood Plans are based on findings from Phases 1 and 2 of engagement, which included efforts to consult, involve and collaborate with members of the community.

The City has designed an engagement process that emphasizes equity, diversity and inclusion. We want to hear all voices, including those who are often underrepresented in the community planning process.

For additional resources about the engagement, analysis and the community engagement process, see the 'Documents' section at the bottom right.


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  • I live at 1560 Hillside Ave. Will these changes affect this residential building?

    ngauvin asked almost 2 years ago

    Hi, the proposed Local Area Plans and associated OCP amendments focus on areas along or west of Cook Street. Future planning for the Oaklands neighbourhood is expected to start once the current round of Local Area Planning is completed.

    The property at 1560 Hillside would be affected by the separate OCP Updates project. The property is currently within Development Permit Area (DPA) 7A in the OCP. You can read more about DPA 7A in OCP Appendix A (page 218). You can also find out which DPAs any property may fall into using VicMap, under “Planning” in the legend.

    Properties within a DPA require a Development Permit for major exterior changes or new development. The proposed changes to this DPA would update it to apply more recent urban design guidelines already used throughout much of the city. Should the change be approved, any proposed development that requires a Development Permit would need to comply with the City’s Design Guidelines for Multi-Unit Residential and Commercial Development.

  • How will property owners be compensated when their property values are negatively impacted by the rezoning? Properties that currently back onto beautiful character houses on Quadra will now possibly have multi story condos directly behind or beside them. With such sacrifices these property owners should be at least compensated by builders to make sure they aren’t solely carrying the financial burden of these re zones.

    Kevin14 asked about 2 years ago

    During engagement, some residents have expressed concern that the proximity of multi-family homes could either reduce property values of nearby single-detached homes, or alternatively could increase property values by increasing land values. Numerous studies in different contexts have show that neither is likely to occur. See for example Property Values Case Study Series (bchousing.org)). Multi-family or affordable housing has not been shown to decrease nearby home values. On the other hand, the City’s Inclusionary Housing and Community Amenity Policy seeks public benefits (e.g. contributions to affordable housing or public amenities) that would mitigate increases in land value.

    Allowing for housing diversity, including multi-unit housing, allows us to meet needs of our community today and for the generation who will be coming of age. Areas considered suitable for multi-family housing are guided by proximity to transit, active transportation routes, parks and amenities, shops, services and social opportunities. These factors are attractive to future residents whether they are seeing a rental home, strata home or single detached home. 

    Any new development, regardless of zoning, will require a Development Permit. The proposed design guidelines are intended to guide siting, landscape, setbacks and building form in order to ensure both neighbourly transitions for existing residences, as well as livability for future residents of new buildings/homes, and future zoning would reflect these guidelines.

  • have you considered the parking problem in Fernwood for our 'village centre'?

    Mh asked over 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question. Yes, concern regarding parking in Fernwood Village is something we have heard. We understand from businesses that they rely on a combination of local foot traffic and customers who are travelling from outside the immediate area by car, bus, or bike. 

    Planning for this area seeks to support vehicle parking as well as enhanced public transit, bicycle routes and walkability. In a place where space is limited, managing the parking we have – over 70,000 on-street public parking spaces in Victoria – is important. The City’s GoVictoria Sustainable Mobility Plan identifies the need to balance business and residential parking needs, while also supporting sustainable modes such as cycling, transit, and walking.

  • Hello - thanks for all of this! Where can I find the recordings of the "Ask a Planner" sessions? I was told we would be able to watch the recordings after, but I can't seen to find where they are located.

    Balmoral123 asked over 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question. The videos from the first two Ask a Planner sessions are available on the right hand side of the page under videos. The most recent one will be added later today.

  • Have you considered the parking problem in the 'village' are of Fernwood (aka the 'Four Corners'...Fernwood and Gladstone)?...There is a small parkette at Fernwood and Pembroke...IT would be great if that was turned into a short term parking are to supplement parking...like the parking lot on Craigflower at the east end of Bamfield park, by the tennis courts. That lot serves the village along the Craigflower strip there. THe parking lot at Pembroke ('Goward' perhaps...?) is not used much at all by anyone...it was originally created to block Pembroke st.

    Mh asked over 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question. Yes, concern regarding parking in Fernwood Village is something we have heard. We understand from businesses that they rely on a combination of local foot traffic and customers who are travelling from outside the immediate area by car, bus, or bike. 

    Planning for this area seeks to support vehicle parking as well as enhanced public transit, bicycle routes and walkability. In a place where space is limited, managing the parking we have – over 70,000 on-street public parking spaces in Victoria – is important. The City’s GoVictoria Sustainable Mobility Plan identifies the need to balance business and residential parking needs, while also supporting sustainable modes such as cycling, transit, and walking.

    The City of Victoria is not contemplating removing green spaces like Gower Park for parking. Consultation to date shows a high value placed on green spaces in Fernwood. The draft plan calls for enhancing Gower Park, offering more space to sit and enjoy food from the local business, and providing a safe crossing for people who walk, ride, and scoot along Pembroke Street across Fernwood Road. It also considers ways to support enhanced green space in other areas around the Village.

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

    BaySt asked almost 3 years 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.

  • 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 over 3 years 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.

  • 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 over 3 years 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.

  • 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 over 3 years 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.  

  • 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 over 3 years 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.

Page last updated: 13 Dec 2023, 10:12 AM