Bart Reed

Cook Street businesses fear CRD sewage plans

It's a catastrophe waiting to happen is how local businesses describe the potential ripping up of Cook Street to install sewage pipes.

  • Mar. 9, 2016 10:00 a.m.

By Don Descoteau

A catastrophe waiting to happen.

That’s how Bart Reed describes the potential ripping up of Cook Street to install sewage pipes to go to and from Clover Point to a treatment plant site at Rock Bay.

Reed owns the Beagle Pub and McLennan’s Island Meat and Seafood in Cook Street Village, as well as the building those two operations are in, plus the Moka House café a couple blocks up. He foresees a 40 per cent drop in business in the village as a result of the construction, due to loss of parking and changing customer buying patterns.

“There’s more disturbance with Rock Bay than with any of the other proposals,” he said.

A co-founder of the Cook Street Village Business Association, Reed will outline the potential losses during a four-minute presentation to the Capital Regional District’s core area liquid waste management committee this morning as they deliberate on sites and other options around treatment.

The committee is expected to emerge with a final recommendation on the topic for the full CRD board meeting Wednesday afternoon. Other sites under consideration as treatment areas include McLoughlin Point and Clover Point, as well as Colwood.

Contrary to what some might see as a “walk-up” nature of the popular Cook Street Village area, Reed estimated that only about 20 to 25 per cent of his operations’ business comes from the neighbourhood. The rest is from people driving, cycling or busing to the area.

Speaking from an easy chair in his café, he said ripping up Cook Street could cost between 50 and 100 local jobs and that at least five merchants will go under because of it. Another five, he said, would likely “walk away” from their business rather than risk going further into debt during the construction period.

And that’s just one section of the village. Business districts at Fort Street and in the North Park neighbourhood between Pandora Avenue and Caledonia Street could also be devastated, Reed predicted.

Human nature and the entrepreneurial spirit being what they are, he added, many owners attempt to stick out the lean times in hopes things will rebound.

But that can lead to financial ruin, he warned. He pegged leasing costs of commercial space in the village at between $60,000 and $200,000 per year, depending on the size of the space.

Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton, who co-chairs the westside select committee on sewage treatment, knows well the effect of a construction phase on customers’ buying habits and traffic patterns. She was the proprietor of a party rentals company on David Street in the Rock Bay neighbourhood when Victoria replaced water mains in 2011.

“I should have just closed my freakin’ doors for six months, because that’s what it did to my business,” she said.

“(Cook Street Village is) a newly revitalized and growing component of the city and you’re basically cutting them off at the knees. We really do have to look at what is more reasonable and take some of those other kinds of costs of doing business into consideration when we’re applying decision making.”

Wednesday’s committee meeting gets underway at 9 a.m., with the CRD board meeting scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Architect plans to revitalize Victoria ‘gateways,’ including Wellburns building

Wood-construction apartments planned for Scott, Wellburn’s buildings

Arrest made after hydraulic rescue pump stolen from temporary Saanich fire hall

VicPD K-9 unit called in to help locate suspect, stolen equipment

CRD explores option to use Oak Bay Lodge for people who are homeless

Motion asks staff to work with BC Housing, Island Health on possibilities

Woman who talked to unconscious husband, a Victoria police officer, for 30 years focus of study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

Public tips lead to arrest in alleged random assault on Victoria bus

June 19 incident was recorded by onboard camera

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Most Read