Last week the City Planners for Victoria unveiled to the public four visions of what Victoria’s core could look like in 20 years. With Victoria growing at a record pace spurred on by numerous people from various areas of Canada, the US and Europe buying up real estate, the downtown core is expected to have an increase of some 15,000 new residents in the next 20 years. That does not take into account the new residents that will move to the other 12 disctricts that make up the Greater Victoria area. We are sure to see a change. Some may like it and other may not, but it is definatley time to look at the options that are there. You may have an opinion and we would love to hear and share it with other. We at Properties in Victoria Professionals are interested in all aspects of growth that may affect our beautiful city and the wonderful quality of life we have here. Please read the article below from the Victoria News by Keith Vass:
The shape of downtown Victoria is going to have to change to fit in as many as 15,000 new residents in the next 20 years.
City planners last Wednesday presented to the public four visions of what Victoria’s core could look like.
Lindsay Chase, senior planner for the city, and her team spent five months developing the options.
The models, unveiled at City Hall last week, are based on the principles identified from a 2004 round of consultations, and the Regional Growth Strategy goals of keeping downtown the region’s major residential, cultural and employment hub.
“All of the options will in different ways meet the vision principles and goals, it’s just that they have some different strengths and weaknesses embedded within each one,” said Chase.
Some features are common to all four options. All are centered around the planned Douglas Street Busway, tying land use to access to transit.
All would leave the historic Old Town and Chinatown areas untouched. The New Town area around Blanshard and Fort Streets would add some density, but keep its current mix of residential and commercial uses.
Option 1 calls for the least change overall – adding some residential density to Harris Green, boosting commercial space and height along north Douglas Street, and encouraging more commercial space and moderate height increases in the Design District around north Government Street.
Option 2 looks to Douglas Street to become the focus of higher density. Towers up to 24 storeys tall with a mix of residential and commercial space could sprout up along central Douglas Street. Farther north, moderate-height, mixed-use buildings would up density on both sides of the street. Harris Green would stay static.
Option 3 spreads more of the increased density into Harris Green, creating growth along two “spines” of high-density, mixed-use growth. The plan would actually add more density than current forecasts say is needed.
Option 4 is the most horizontal approach, shunning highrise towers in the core in favour of converting industrial land in Rock Bay into residential. Densities would kept moderate throughout the downtown, but it’s not known how much cleaning up contamination in Rock Bay could cost or what the economic impact of losing the industries there would mean.
The plans and an online survey form are on the city’s website at www.victoria.ca, then click on Downtown Plan Update. Planners will use the feedback to develop a final option to present to city council in the spring.
The survey lets the public name their preferred option, and say how the view the relative strengths and weaknesses of all four.
Chase said if one of the options gets broad support, it may go forward with minor tweaks. But features could be blended together, depending on public feedback.
“We’re certainly willing to create a hybrid option that takes the best elements from the options that we’ve presented and also the best ideas that come back to us from the public.”All Articles More Like This