Urban Core Ventures’ proposed residential/commercial building at Cook and Oliphant streets will go to public hearing.

Cook Street development inches closer to approval

Urban Core Ventures has cleared another hurdle for approval for its proposed residential/commercial building at Cook and Oliphant streets.

Urban Core Ventures has cleared another hurdle in its two-and-a-half year struggle for approval for its proposed residential/commercial building at Cook and Oliphant streets.

Victoria city council sent the revised proposal to public hearing Thursday.

It’s been a long road for the project.

In the most recent setback in July the project had been approved to go to public hearings in a committee of the whole meeting, only to have council pull the rug out from under the developer only a few hours later, instructing  the developer to address some resident’s concerns before bringing it back to committee.

The move came after council received letters from 13 businesses in opposition to the project and a petition from about 100 area residents, said Urban Core Ventures spokesperson, Meribeth Burton.

“We were certainly disheartened by what happened in July, but we sat down with some of the most vocal detractors of the project and worked very hard to resolve the issues. We made a number of changes and compromises, and came back with what I think is a better design for both parties,” said Burton.

The new, five-storey project design has addressed the most contentious of the issues by reducing the height of the structure by another 3.3 feet to 54 feet (16.46 metres), just seven feet higher than a current four-storey building in the Cook Street Village.

In addition, the developers have redesigned the ground floor plan. The new plan will accommodate one commercial tenant (down from six), and townhouses will be introduced on Oliphant Street with significant green space and a 25 foot landscaped buffer between the development and the residential area to the west of the project.

The total green space has been increased to 32 per cent of the footprint, up from seven per cent in the original plan. Surface parking has been reduced to two spaces, down from the original 18.

On the upper floors of the structure, trellises have been added to soften the building’s appearance.

When constructed, the planned development will provide a total of 53 new homes, 17 of which will be rental units with nine of those rental units offered at 10 per cent below market value.

“In an environment where there is a lack of housing and an almost zero vacancy rate, we feel very good about creating some housing alternatives in Cook Street Village,” said Burton.

Mayor Lisa Helps is pleased with the project’s success and the fact it is moving on to public hearing.

“There is a very vocal minority of opposition to this project, and I think the developers have taken into account a lot of their concerns. Now the project can proceed to public hearing where we can have a good look at the project. Then we’ll have a hard decision to make,” said Helps, adding the responsibility of council is to take into account the desires of current residents, while realizing they also represent all of the roughly 85,000 people in Victoria. She acknowledged her role as having the courage to consider the future and what’s best for Cook Street Village in the long run.

“I know the developer has gone along with vocal opponents and removed much of the commercial component, for example. I’m not convinced it’s the best thing for Cook Street in the future. I guess we’ll have to look at that,” she said.

 

 

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

Just Posted

Saanich Police are investigating a broken window at the Greater Victoria School District office. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich police suspect slingshot used to break window at SD61 office

Police find ball- bearing, or pellet, below broken window at school board

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Sibling squirrels in recovery after sap situation leads to tail amputation

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Police will be diverting traffic between Island View Road and Amity Drive from 12 to 1 p.m. Oct. 23. (Google Maps)
Section of Pat Bay Highway closes for Mi’kmaq fishing rights demonstration

Police will be diverting traffic Oct. 23 from noon to 1 p.m between Island View Road and Amity Drive

West Shore RCMP are asking for help identifying a male suspect who they believe tried to sell drugs to youth Sept. 19. (West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP seek help identifying man selling drugs to youth

The man tried to sell two youth drugs while they waited for a bus in Langford Sept. 19

Port Alberni resident Holly Braker-McLaughlin captured footage of five bears playing in her yard. (SCREENSHOT)
VIDEO: Quintet of bears frolic in Vancouver Island yard

Port Alberni family was treated to a visit from some playful black bears

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
FILE – A voting package for the 2018 electoral reform referendum. Vote-by-mail packages for the 2020 provincial election will look similar, according to information provided by Elections BC. (Katya Slepian - Black Press Media)
POLL: Have you voted yet?

As election day quickly approaches, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians have… Continue reading

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island this week

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Most Read