Rendering of the proposed development at 1201 Fort St. shows larger building fronting directly onto Fort Street and with a public pedestrian pathway runing alongside. Courtesy Abstract Developments

Rockland neighbours remain unhappy with Fort Street project

Proponents of a multi-phase development at 1201 Fort St. were peppered with questions about tree loss and density, and offered philosophical statements during a Rockland land-use committee consultation meeting on Tuesday night.

Abstract Development’s project on the former site of the Victoria Truth Centre would include 94 units, spread between a six-storey building, a four-storey structure and 10 townhomes fronting onto Pentrelew Place. Company president Mike Miller heard from most who spoke at Grace Lutheran Church that despite some changes to the earlier plan, the development is still too big and is out of scale with its surroundings.

“I have always wondered why are you trying to squeeze 90 housing units on this two acres?” asked Pentrelew Place resident Don Cal, adding that he told Miller during a home meeting that 35 units would be far more appropriate.

Miller countered more than once by quoting the city’s official community plan, which states that the site is suitable for a (floor space ratio) density of 2-to-1 in the front part of the lot and 1-to-1 in the rear. The average for the project on the nearly two-acre site is 1.39:1, lower than what would be allowed, Miller noted.

Rockland Avenue resident Ian Sutton questioned proponents on the affordable housing element of the proposal and was told Abstract has agreed to build 10 sub-market rate units somewhere in the city by the time the Fort Street project is completed. Later, Cal asked why the “affordable” units could not be included in this development.

In the presentation, project architect Greg Damant outlined “what’s the same” and “what’s changed” about the previous design.

Changes included dropping from 12 to 10 townhouses, moving the six-storey building to the Fort Street end of the lot, shifting placement of the four-storey building and replacing the outside of the two buildings with brick and making the townhomes an arts and crafts style to better fit in with the neighbourhood.

Abstract had shifted the buildings around in an attempt to save more trees, but was encouraged by city planners to push the higher-density building closer to Fort Street, Damant said. The move meant losing one more large tree.

On the matter of trees, speaker Nancy McGregor gave the proponents a history lesson, pointing out that the sequoia seeds that would become two of the largest trees on the property were brought from Sierra Nevada country in the U.S. in the 1860s.

Other neighbourhood speakers brought up concerns over possible changes to the water table in the area given that concrete would cover much of what is now green space, and the potential for blasting on the site to affect nearby homes and older residents’ health.

The proposal is due to come back to city council before it can be sent to public hearing.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Saanich resident sends distress signal over cell-phone tower

Wes Solomonson says proposed cell-tower will undermine value of his rural Saanich home

Caring trumps racism for retired Langford fire chief

Support for Haitian orphans continues

Passengers bound for Victoria say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Third Victoria person pricked by needle in past week

Police say this one appears to have been deliberately placed

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Boat capsizes in Caddy Bay

Two members of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club Race Team spent part… Continue reading

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Witnesses sought to reported sexual assault in downtown Victoria

Early morning incident happened near Quadra and View streets

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Most Read