The development proposed for the corner of Cook and Pendergast streets in Cook Street Village will be reconsidered by Victoria council in January, but not before potential changes are made to how the project or developer would create housing affordability. (Courtesy City of Victoria)

The development proposed for the corner of Cook and Pendergast streets in Cook Street Village will be reconsidered by Victoria council in January, but not before potential changes are made to how the project or developer would create housing affordability. (Courtesy City of Victoria)

Cook Street Village project back on table, after Victoria mayor invokes Community Charter

Council to revisit development in January with affordability issues addressed

A rare instance of the mayor asking council to reconsider a decision made after a public hearing, breathed new life into a defeated residential housing project proposal for Cook Street Village.

On Thursday (Dec. 10) council approved Lisa Helps’ motion to revisit Aragon Properties’ proposal to construct a four-storey, multi-family building on lots at 324/328 Cook St. and 1044, 1048 and 1052/1054 Pendergast St., after several amendments to the wording.

The majority approved a version directing city staff to work with the developer to “try to address affordability in the project,” and bring the results back to committee of the whole before it goes again to public hearing.

RELATED STORY: Lack of affordable housing spells end for Cook Street Village project in Victoria

Helps explained her decision to use her authority under the Community Charter to bring back the application.

“This is the first time in our 16 months as eight, rather than nine [on council] that we’ve had a tie vote on a substantial land use application,” she said. With a new councillor (Stephen Andrew) chosen in the Dec. 12 byelection, the next vote will not be tied.

During the discussion, Coun. Sarah Potts said her difficulty with approving the applications after the Nov. 26 public hearing arose not from the absence of affordable units in the new building, but with the lack of specifics around replacing the four affordable rental units in three older homes on Pendergast slated for demolition.

RELATED STORY: Wellness centre proponent optimistic, despite Victoria council rejecting project

Helps said the developer told her including affordable units on site would require a fifth storey, something Aragon previously determined the community would not support.

Coun. Ben Isitt preferred a fresh application come forward, rather than making minor amendments to the previous application, a stance supported by Coun. Sharmarke Dubow. Both argued that a new application would have potential for the project to be more in line with the city’s recently approved inclusionary housing policy, despite the fact the application was made long before the policy came into force.

Aragon development manager Luke Ramsay said having Helps bring the project back gives them another chance to assess the configuration of community benefits in the proposal, which were hotly debated unlike the design aspects of the building.

“We hope to find a solution which addresses the concerns we heard, while [keeping the project] viable given the density and height the community feels is appropriate,” he told Black Press Media.

Council’s committee of the whole next meets Jan. 7. A new public hearing would be scheduled sometime after that.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of Victoriadevelopment

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

Just Posted

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation is hosting a virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads University on April 25. (Black Press Media file)
Cedar trees weave deeply into lives of coastal First Nations communities

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation hosts virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads

Leon the squirrel gets a fancy snack of almonds and sunflower seeds from a well-meaning local, who really should be leaving Leon to his own foraging devices. (Submitted)
Squirrels don’t need your nuts, thanks

Consider birding instead of wildlife feeding, SPCA suggests

Titan Sparks, who attends Grade 3 at Deep Cove Elementary, plants a seedling to help replace trees damaged by climate change near Deep Cove Elementary. (Louise Beaudry/Submitted)
North Saanich school plants a seed in the fight against climate change

Students at Deep Cove Elementary plant seedlings to replace downed trees

The District of Sooke has launched a new online community engagement platform, letstalksooke.ca, where residents can share feedback and stay up to date on projects and initiatives that are happening in their community. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke launches online engagement portal

The District of Sooke has launched a new online community engagement platform… Continue reading

Island Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak in two houses at the Mount St. Mary long-term care home on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Google Earth)
Island Health declares outbreak at Victoria long-term care home

Resident, staff member test positive for COVID-19 at Mount St. Mary facility

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

There are lots of resources for seniors looking for information about COVID-19. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
COVID questions? Here are some phone-based resources available for seniors

Here is a list of numbers to keep on hand for Vancouver Islanders who aren’t fond of computers

Chum Salmon fry being examined with multiple motile and attached sea lice on Vargas Island. (Cedar Coast Field Station photo)
Study: Tofino fish farm sea lice infestations add fuel to push to remove open pens

Ahousaht First Nation asking for higher standards than what DFO requires

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

Most Read