Mixed-use density proposed for Oak Bay Avenue

Parking prioritized despite proximity to amenities

The density and look of Oak Bay Avenue is set to change as a pair of four- and five-storey residential building proposals are making their way through the City of Victoria development process.

Jawl Residential are in the early stages of a proposal to rezone a trio of lots at 1908, 1912 and 1920 Oak Bay Ave. (at the corner of Redfern Street) to build a four-storey, 35-unit residential with ground floor commercial. The lot is currently home to GardenWorks nursery and Ballam Plumbing and does not include the church.

One block over at 1811 Oak Bay Ave. is a five-storey, 15-unit proposal at the corner of Bank Street developed by Low, Hammond, Rowe Architects. While it is five storeys, each floor of the Bank Street proposal is significantly smaller and has continual setbacks.

READ MORE: GardenWorks time on Oak Bay Avenue winding down

The two buildings will bring added density to the Victoria end of Oak Bay Avenue. They are desirable due to access to amenities by foot and by bike, said Peter Jawl. However, the city and neighbourhood are not ready to build a no-parking building. As such, the Jawl building would feature 47 underground parking spots and another 11 surface spots, meeting the city’s requirements.

It really is an ideal place for a no-parking building that attracts people who don’t drive, but the reality is the city is just not ready for that yet, Jawl said.

“Anytime you can offer nearby services and amenities to get people out of cars is a positive,” Jawl said, noting Red Barn Market and Home Hardware are across the street. “That’s a big criteria for us to have.”

The 7,000 square-feet of ground floor is reserved for commercial space.

The proposal is a rezoning as the Jubilee area plan prioritizes the Victoria strip of Oak Bay Avenue as mixed use with a three storey max. Each floor also decreases in ceiling height as you ascend the building.

With an expected minimum 100-year lifespan for the building, it’s important to look back at the land use decisions from the perspective of someone 40 or 50 years from now, Jawl said.

That included South Jubilee Neighbourhood Association meetings at the Bank Street school. “People feel five or six storeys is too much for this development.

READ ALSO: Average housing prices would have to drop by $413,000 for Victoria to become affordable “We held community consultation for 14 months before bringing this proposal to the city,” Jawl said. “When you look back, you don’t want a building that’s undersized for what the neighbourhood becomes.”

Not surprisingly, the top two concerns from community consultation were parking and traffic.

“Part of our responsibility is balancing these two sides, that we’re respectful as we are new to the neighbourhood,” Jawl said. “A lot of the plans have been influenced by the neighbour feedback and the key thing is making sure its built with our wishes and goals but also respects the community.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

(BC Hydro outage map)
UPDATE: Power restored to more than 3,000 Sooke residents

Two polling stations impacted by outage

The mottled sky, the lights coming on at water’s edge and in Victoria West, and the reflections on the building windows make for a scenic sunset photo in Victoria’s Selkirk neighbourhood. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Sunset on the Selkirk in Victoria

Send your photos to editor@vicnews.com for a chance to see them in the paper

Christopher Mauro, right, assistant manager of the Sidney Save-On-Foods, and Nick Luney, youth initiatives director for the Victoria Pride Society, celebrate the success of a pandemic fundraiser for the local Pride Society. (Courtesy Save-On Foods)
Grocery managers across the Island pull together for Queer youth

With Victoria Pride Parade and Festival cancelled, Save-On-Foods staff found a way to raise funds

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read