Council gives green light to controversial Cook Street Village development

Victoria city council has given the green light to a high contentious development in the Cook Street Village.

Victoria city council voted 6-3 to approve the controversial development at Cook Street and Elephant Avenue following a lengthy public hearing Thursday night.

Victoria city council has given the green light to a high contentious development in the Cook Street Village.

After a lengthy public hearing Thursday night with residents speaking both for and against the proposal, council voted 6-3 to approve the five-storey, 53-suite mixed-use development at 1041 Oliphant Ave. and 212-220 Cook St.

“One of the best things I can do to help make home ownership happen for others in Victoria is to offer homes of a variety of sizes and types that can attract the broadest range of renters and owners,” said Leonard Cole president and owner of Urban Core Ventures during the public hearing.

“There’s been much and even more done to engage with the community in many different forms. As a result of those discussions, we believe that the project we are presenting is a much stronger neighbourhood asset.”

The project has been met with fierce opposition since it began roughly two years ago, with residents saying the development is too high and does not fit in with the character of the neighbourhood.

A number of businesses have also expressed concern about the potential loss of parking to accommodate the level of activity the development would bring.

Since it was brought forward the developer has made changes to the original proposal, reducing the height of the overall structure to 54 feet, the ground floor will now accommodate one commercial tenant, instead of six, and townhouses will be introduced on Oliphant with green space, along with live/work units on Cook Street.

There will also be 17 rental units, nine of which will be offered at 10 per cent below market value.

Construction is expected to begin in spring 2017.