Ogden Point in James Bay could look very different in the next few years.
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) released an update on its proposed master plan for Ogden Point, during an information session to residents last week.
The proposed plan, which is currently in the fourth and final stage, will be used as guidance when it comes to development in the area over the next 30 years.
Included in the plan are commercial developments along Dallas Road, such as a cafe or restaurant, as well as the potential for an off-season indoor market. The plan also proposes creating a major pedestrian and cycling-only gateway that links commercial development and the Pier B port of call terminal. The gateway will also include a cultural space to celebrate the heritage of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.
A number of changes are also proposed for the area around the breakwater, including the installation of a public greenway leading to the barge facility and waterfront next to Pier A, and an opportunity for some type of performance space near the waterfront.
“This is the more detailed look of the plan. We’re looking at the architecture, the urban design layout, the landscaping, environment, social and community aspects of the plan. This is getting into the details of what we’re going to be presenting to the City (of Victoria),” said Sonterra Ross, chief operating officer with the harbour authority.
Also included in the plan is the potential development of a small marina facility for small crafts and kayaks, as well as a kayak deck, and renovations to the current port of call terminal and parking areas to include the potential for seasonal food truck parking.
Consultation for the master plan began last year with residents and stakeholders participating in information sessions, open houses and workshops.
However, there are some who still believe more needs to be done to improve the plan.
Marg Gardiner, president of the James Bay Association, said recent changes to some of the positions of the buildings will increase noise and emissions from helicopters, which will affect nearby residents.
“It was up to the GVHA board to make sure that it (the master plan) is a positive thing for the community, which means addressing and seriously addressing issues, which are all solvable,” she said, adding there are also concerns regarding emissions from cruise ships, which the harbour authority has shown “lack of management.”
“It’s all solvable, it has to do with GVHA managing the industry in Victoria, rather than just focusing on promoting and supporting it.”
Ross noted the harbour authority’s consultant Stantec, responsible for developing the plan, has noise modelling systems that show the building position and height reduce noise.
The master plan will go to the harbour authority board in November and will be presented to Victoria city council in December, followed by the completion of an implementation plan, which will detail priorities over the next five to 10 years.