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Burnside Gorge plan nearing the finish line

The City of Victoria must first make changes toits Official Community Plan (OCP) to ensure both plans align.
Victoria Coun. Geoff Young.

Before the City of Victoria can roll out the final version of the Burnside Gorge Community Plan, it must first make changes toits Official Community Plan (OCP) to ensure both plans align.

Proposed amendments to the OCP include revising urban designation boundaries, expanding development permit areaboundaries for corridors, villages and the Mayfair Town Centre, and creating a heritage conservation area near ManchesterRoad and Dunedin Street.

The draft plan for the future of the neighbourhood includes creating an urban village, improving pedestrian connectivity, andsupporting the viability of industrial businesses. Changes for the OCP allow for such visions to become reality.

Geoff Young, council liaison for the neighbourhood, said most of the feedback he’s received from the community has beenpositive.

“The neighbourhood has some goals. They’d like to see a village centre that would have local services such as groceryshopping. That’s been one of the most clearly expressed objectives,” Young said during a meeting Thursday. “Clearly thereare limits to which we as a council can force that to happen, all we can do is provide the opportunities for it to happen.”

Coun. Marianne Alto called the plan an “exciting document,” one that will transform Burnside Gorge into more of aneighbourhood.

Between April 2015 and February 2016, more than 1,500 members of the public attended more than 40 events andparticipated in an online survey to inform development of a new plan for the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood. A draft plan wasshared in October, followed by input from stakeholders including the Greater Victoria School District, Point Ellice HousePreservation Society and the Gorge Waterway Initiative.

The Burnside Gorge community plan is the first of 10 new neighbourhood plans that will be created for Victoria in the nextfour years. The city has 13 neighbourhoods, but many of the plans were created more than 20 years ago.