Church school re-development draws ire of downtown residents

Victoria city council will hear about proposal at public hearing Thursday

  • Sep. 9, 2014 7:00 a.m.

A proposal to develop the current St. Andrews School site is going to public hearing Thursday. The proposal, by Bosa Properties, includes ground-floor retail space and 211 residential units in a four- to six-storey building.

A group of neighbourhood residents took to the street to protest the proposal last week and to encourage others to attend the public hearing.

Tristan Trotter, Mason Street resident, said the main concerns are that a single grocery store would be put into the retail space and the effects of traffic as a result.

“We don’t need a huge grocery store that will have an impact on local small businesses,” said Trotter.

More than 150 vehicles are anticipated to enter and exit the parkade onto Mason Street during peak hours.

Victoria Coun. Geoff Young said he expects many speakers at the public hearing, due to the controversy of the proposal.

He said according to the traffic department staff at the city, major developments such as this should be serviced from the least trafficked street – which in this case, is Mason Street.

“There’s a big contrast to having entrance to a big commercial development near these houses,” said Young. “Quite possibly that part of Mason Street on the north side may have further development in the future.”

Young added the proposed plan is consistent with the idea of having more people living downtown and having a strong commercial sector downtown.

“The controversial part is that as the downtown expands, you will have areas where you have low density development right near newer higher density development,” said Young.

The public hearing will take place at City Hall at 7 p.m.