Special Council Deliberation and Vote: May 3, 2018.
Public Hearing on April 26, 2018 now closed.

Presentations made to Council April 26, 2018
Click Neighbourhood Concerns
Click Housing and Overbuilding
Click Compliance to the OCP
Click City's Options for Site
Click Arguments Against Proposal
Click Take the Lead
Click Concerns
Click Nightmare
Click Getting to Win-Win
Click Transfer of Wealth
Click Perspective

The 1875 property, known as "Pentrelew," is the homestead of our first Attorney General.
It is one of only a handful of legacy properties left in Victoria. It is part of the mature urban forest for which Rockland is famous. It is the gateway to our historic neighborhood.
(Street Address: 1201 Fort Street / 1050 Pentrelew Place)

There is more to building a wonderful, liveable city, like Victoria, BC, than filling every available space with up-market condominiums.
What we build today will shape our City for the future. Over the last 23 months we have been unable to convince the developer to make this development smaller. This final proposal is not much different than the original one. It is too massive, the buildings are too high and the set-backs are too small. It should be declined.
Link to our Petition
Click here to view the Petition. Sign the Petition

Click here to send a letter to Mayor and Council.

  • Development - not over-development. This proposal is too large for the site.
  • The Official Community Plan strives for balance between development and the existing neighbourhood. This proposal is designed to be an island unto itself - a densely urban gated-community in a traditional residential neighbourhood.
  • Development should be sensitive to its surroundings - not overpower it. Massing, height and set-backs are important for sustainability, livability and community. Mature tree canopy is important to the character of our neighbourhood.
  • Housing should be built to use as homes - not as passive investments or income-producing short-term rentals.
  • The most pressing housing problem we have in Victoria is not for more up-market condos. We need affordable housing which this proposal does not deliver in any meaningful way.
  • This proposal does not provide an adequate transition within its own boundaries from the corridor zone along Fort Street (4 storey) to the residential zone which is 72% of the property. Rather, it extends the height and massing into its own residential section diminishing the transition zone to the outside landowners, forcing this cost onto others.
  • The Council and City Staff are our elected representatives. They should not promote private gain with an overly aggressive interpretation of the Official Community Plan at the expense of the general Public by giving away so much Public Wealth (the rezoning and variances) for so little in community benefits.
  • The Community Amenity Calculation and the Density Bonus must be based on the increase of built floor space awarded by rezoning - just like other cities in B.C. Why does City Hall insist on so little, when developers gain so much?

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The final proposal is now at City Hall and is set to go to
Another Public Hearing on April 26, 2018.
You can visit the Development Tracker at Victoria City Hall (, or click here to visit site.
You can see from the documentation that now you have to be an expert to understand just what changes have been made.
Here are the various files on the agenda for the Committee of the Whole Meeting Thursday Dec. 14, 2017
Click here to visit COTW Agenda Item #8
Click here to view Staff Recommendation
  • This final proposal has more floor space (FSR = 1.29:1) than recommended by a realistic reading of the Official Community Plan and is based on an overly aggressive characterization of this property as strategic.
  • The large building (Building A) on Fort Street is 6 storeys in height (21 meters) - 75% higher than the zoning allows - two storeys higher than other buildings along the heritage corridor of Fort Street. It is also too massive in size - extending far into the residential zoning outside of the corridor zone where 4 storeys is allowed.
  • The second building (Building B) is too high and massive, dwarfing the houses to the south and the nine townhouses along Pentrelew Place. Its height and bulk do not provide an adequate transition to the residential zone into which it is situated.
  • There is no 'transition' to the residential neighbourhood, because both Buildings A and B are too tall and too massive for the residential zone in which they sit (where 2 1/2 storeys is the norm). These bulky buildings command and block all views and force the neighbours to provide the transition zone.
  • The developer is asking for all suites to be 100% rentable. This will increase the general price level of all units as it will invite investors to participate in ownership of all units. Also, with the new short-term rental by-law this property will be available for use as short-term rentals.
  • The Housing Agreement does not ensure that the proposal provides any real Affordability Component. It allows the developer to simply pay $250,000.00 as a penalty if 10 [cheaper] units are not built somewhere else within 2 years. How many housing units can you build today in Victoria for $250,000.00? If this proposal is approved what do think the 83 units on this property will be worth in total? Do you think that you could buy the smallest unit in this proposal for $250,000.00?
  • The exchange of a massive increase in zoning for the public amenity of affordable housing between the City of Victoria and the applicant is not justifiable and is shockingly inappropriate. To gift the applicant $32 million in extra wealth (the increased zoning) for the cash value of only $250,000.00 in affordable housing in not supportable.Gift of Wealth

Click here to view The Final Proposal in a Nutshell.
Click here to view A synopsis of Final Proposal.
The next meeting of the Mayor and Council will decide if this proposal is accepted or declined. Deadline for your letter is April 10, 2018.
Plan to attend the evening Public Hearing on Thursday, April 12 starting at 6:30 pm

We have very little time! CONTACT THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL TODAY!

Click here to send a letter to Mayor and Council.
Email your own letter to City Hall: by clicking here.

Click Rockland Neighbourhood Association
Click Rockland OCP
Click Neighborhood Concerns
Click Uphold the OCP
Click Arguments Against Proposal
Click Affordability Argument
Click Housing Agreement
Click UBCM Report 2018
Click Overbuilding
Click Alternate Vision
Click Cause and Effect
Click Gift of Wealth
Click Monetary Justification
Click Arguments for Proposal
Click Rental Availabilty

Click Table of Floor Space in Proposals
  • The amount of floor space that the current zoning allows is 6,253 square meters.
  • The amount of floor space possible (for this site) under the most wildly optimistic interpretation ANTICIPATED by the Official Community Plan is 10,126 square meters. (This is an increase of 3,875 square meters, or 62% over the norm.)
  • The first application was sent back for revision.
  • The applicant actually increased the floor space in the second proposal. The corporation applied for 10,898 square meters. (An increase of 4,645 square meters, or 74% over the norm.)
  • The second application was sent back for revision.
  • Now, in the THIRD application, the corporation demands 10,219 square meters, still over the maximum 'anticipated' by the OCP. (It is an increase of 3966 square meters, or 63% over the norm!)

72% of the Site is zoned Traditional Residential. Floor Space Ratio MAXIMUM (FSR) = 1.00:1
(FSR = 1 square foot of finished space to 1 square foot of land.
Most residences achieve much less than this, say 0.50:1:00 in a Traditional Residential Zone.
Or, a house of 2,500 sq. ft on a plot of land of 5,000 sq. ft.)
This is further shaped by strict requirements for height and space to other properties as well as the set-back to City property.)
These niceties of zoning make good neighbours and liveable neighbourhoods. Normal zoning requirements have been absent from all three proposals on this property.

Click List of Variances Recommended by City Staff to change Zoning for defeated Proposal.

A Better Idea: The proposal with fewer Variances: Leave us some sky.


Click UNOFFICIAL Transcript of Second COTW Meeting
This is an unofficial Transcript of the Second Committee of the Whole Meeting at Victoria City Hall on the morning of Oct. 26, 2017 (when the 2nd proposal was sent back for revision.)

For Mayor
  • Lisa Helps 9,200 Votes (37.63% of votes cast.)
  • Dean Fortin 9,111 Votes (37.27% of votes cast.)
Lisa Helps only won by 89 votes!
Six councillors received more votes individually (in a crowded field) than our Mayor.
The entire Official Results for the last two municipal elections
Click Election Results 2014
Click Election Results 2011

Click Letters to Council (First Batch)
Click Letters to Council (Second Batch)
Click Letters to Council (Third Batch)
Click Letters to Council (Fourth Batch)
Click Why, in this boom, the City's coffers are empty.
Click Letters to Council (First Batch)
Click Letters to Council (Second Batch)
Click Letters to Council (Third Batch)
Click Power Point Slide Show
Power point slide shows the development.

Click Comparison Table of Each Proposal
Most Important Table of Comparisons between both proposals.

Click Overbuilding
We are overbuilding #1

Double Click to Download Overbuilding Spreadsheet
We are overbuilding #2 Spreadsheet

Double Click to Download Alternate Vision
Alternate Vision for Site

Click Table of Councillors' Concerns
Table detailing the List of Concerns Expressed by Council

Click Another Vision

Click Historical View
Click Directions Ignored
Click Proposals Summary
Click Duty to Say No
Click Direct and to the point
Click Increasing Size
Click Words and Actions
Click Architect's Viewpoint
Click You Break It - You Buy It
Click The Loss of Trees
Click Good Town Planning
Click Sensible Planning
Click Urban Forest
Click Lacks that 'Vision Thing'
Click Affordable Units
Click Rentability
Click CHOA Article on Condo non-rental benefits
Click Community Meeting as Real Estate Investment
Click King Lear's Fool
Click Externalize Costs to Internalize Profit
Click FSR and Assumptions

Automatic email link to Mayor and Council
(The individual email addresses of the Mayor and each of the 8 councillors can be found on the City Hall Website.)

Click City Staff Recommendation for Approval

You can find the entire file at City Hall by following this link:
Click Get City File on Proposal. It is Item #4 on the Agenda.

Click Get to Webcast site. You should look in the Archived Videos. Under Videos for the Date of Oct. 26, 2017 in the file of 5 hours 34 minutes duration.
This proposal starts in about 1 hour in and ends at the 2 hour 30 minute mark.

Click 2016 OCP Annual Review for the 2016 Official Community Plan Annual Review

When it comes to explaining the underlying reason guiding this proposal, Calvin nails it!

Calvin & Hobbs

The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book by Bill Watterson