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Quadra Village proposal promises rejuvenation

A mixed-use building application on the commercial edge of Quadra Village promises new life for an aging commercial strip.

If approved it will be the first new construction in the area in 15 years. That's when

Victoria city council adopted the Quadra Village Design Guidelines 15 years ago, which aimed to rejuvenate the village.

Neighbourhood Action Group chair Doug Rhodes said the guidelines, while well-intentioned, aren't serving the community well.

He's observed developers are dissuaded or rejected due to the area's high parking requirements, which Rhodes calls more suitable for suburban environments.

The application at 2560 Quadra St. proposes to demolish a single-family home in favour of a four-storey building with commercial main floor and 17 residential units above.

Architect Curtis Miles, on behalf of Rosalind Chapman, also requests the city relax its parking requirements. He proposes 17 residential stalls rather than the required 24; zero commercial stalls instead of the required one; and zero visitor parking instead of the required one.

In its place, he promises participation in Victoria Car Share.

The Neighbourhood Action Group supports the variance.

"Our existing demographic mix ranging from young people to aging in-place seniors includes increasing numbers of people for whom automobile ownership and use is not a priority or even not an option," wrote Rhodes in a letter to council.

Victoria's planning department is also in favour of issuing a development permit.

"The continuous commercial frontage along Quadra Street will create an active pedestrian environment," wrote senior process planner Lucina Baryluk in the staff report.

On Thursday, the city's planning and land use committee approved the application, sending it for second review at a public hearing.

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