More than a dozen people lined up to speak at Tuesday’s council meeting in View Royal regarding the rezoning application for Christie Point. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

More than a dozen people lined up to speak at Tuesday’s council meeting in View Royal regarding the rezoning application for Christie Point. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

View Royal Christie Point redevelopment proposal moves to public hearing

Residents will have another opportunity to voice their opinions on June 27

The Christie Point rezoning application will move to a public hearing later this month after hours of discussion, presentations, public input and a tight vote Tuesday night in View Royal.

The atmosphere in council chambers was noticeably hostile and after outbursts from some of the roughly 80-plus people in attendance, Mayor David Screech threatened to have those that could not respect the process removed from the meeting.

“This is not a theatre, this is a business meeting,” Screech said after applause erupted from the crowd during a presentation. “We understand that everyone in this room – except the proponents – are against this.”

Both the Christie Point Advocates and the proponent Realstar were give time to make presentations to council.

Ann Jordan-Mills spoke on behalf of the Christie Point Advocates and the future of current tenants was again outlined for council.

While Realstar has amended a package for residents that will now give them 12 months notice, Mills noted that’s not good enough in today’s market if residents have nowhere to go.

“It’s a whole different world for residents that have lived there for 10, 15 or 20 years,” she said, noting they will face many challenges in just being able to look up new listings. “Where are 161 families going to go?”

With the region’s vacancy rate sitting at roughly 0.5 per cent, she added competition for the few accommodations that are available is overwhelming.

While residents will be given first right of refusal for the new units, Mills noted many will not be able to afford to stay. “The rents will be considerably higher than they are now and no consideration will be given for those not able to pay … It seems to me that our current rental rates are being devalued as are the residents.”

Later in the meeting Coun. Ron Mattson questioned why current residents could not be grandfathered into the new units at their current rental rates. “I do believe residents do come first,” he said.

In response to a request to keep current rental rates for residents, Realstar vice-president Heather Grey-Wolf said “that’s just not the business we’re in.”

She noted the proposed $750,000 contribution to the Capital Regional District’s Regional Housing Trust Fund. “We feel that’s a much stronger way to provide affordable housing in the region.”

She added that the contribution, if leveraged through the fund, could create as many as 67 affordable units in the region. “We recognize the desperate need for affordable housing in the region.”

Mattson didn’t hide his displeasure. “I’m not happy with that answer,” he noted.

Residents that spoke during the public participation portion of the agenda reiterated those concerns as well as questioning the environmental impact of the development, increased traffic, noise, height, density, and how it would affect neighbouring properties as well as their view.

One Greater Victoria resident did speak in favour of the proposal, citing a desperate need for more rental accommodations.

Council members emphasized that the public would be able to weigh in if council decided to move to a public hearing and encouraged those with comments to keep them brief.

At one point Screech noted there would be a 30 minute cap on public participation but allowed it to go on for roughly an hour, letting those that wished to have their say.

“The prime purpose of this meeting is for council to discuss with staff and hear the presentations,” Screech noted. “We need to get to our part of the meeting.”

Coun. John Rogers added “you’re not going to hear that at the public hearing.”

However, during a quick break after public participation roughly one third of those in attendance left.

During council’s discussion after the break, many were puzzled with the height request of 26 metres for the tallest buildings as plans only called for six storeys.

Staff and a project representative explained that this was due to the fact that detailed designs and survey work have not been completed – and will not be until the development permit process.

While council was concerned by this, they asked staff to include restrictions on the proposal that would limit the buildings to a maximum of six above ground storeys, regardless of whether the maximum height would allow for a seventh.

Ultimately, council voted 3-2 in favour of moving the project forward to a public hearing, with Mattson and Coun. Heidi Rast opposed.

The hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27 at the Songhees Wellness Centre, 1100 Admirals Rd.

Given the number of Saanich residents at the meeting, council also made sure that all residents (regardless of the municipality) within 400 metres of the site would be notified of the hearing.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Christie PointView Royal

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A project on McCallum Road will add 227 residential units to Langford. (Photo courtesy of Highstreet Ventures)
Residential project slated for McCallum Road in Langford

Six-storey development will be built to highest energy-efficiency standards

The public will start to weigh in next month on the possible future uses of Oak Bay Lodge. In the meantime, a request to the province by the City of Victoria to intervene and allow use of at least a portion of the closed facility as temporary shelter space awaits an answer. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay Lodge redevelopment planning continues, request for temporary use awaits answer

Public consultation on future of CRD-owned site begins next month

Jack Thomas, Canada’s one-armed drummer recently featured on national television, is one of the featured performers this Sunday on the virtual show We Are One! (Courtesy West Coast Reach Association)
National names mingle with Greater Victoria talent for diverse, free concert

Virtual event commemorates Human Solidarity Day, International Day of Persons With Disabilities

Wild Wise Sooke is pushing to get local waste management companies to hop on board to provide bear-resistant bins as an option for residents. On Nov. 23, Sooke council voted to write a letter of support for Wild Wise to send to companies such as GFL Environmental Inc. and Sooke Disposal Ltd. (Black Press Media file photo)
Wild Wise Sooke continues push for bear-resistant bins as option for residents

Bins could cost anywhere from $150 to $300 or more, according to 2019 study

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Lake Trail Middle School in Courtenay has closed again due to a threat Friday (Dec 4). File photo
Island middle school closed for the second time in a week due to threat

On Nov. 26, Lake Trail Middle School was closed for a day while a similar incident occurred.

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

Most Read